Google’s Android TV Could Turn Any App into a Channel

Google’s Android TV Could Turn Any App into a Channel

The line between traditional TV and online sources of programming is getting thinner and thinner.

Soon it may be gone entirely, if Google has its way. The company has a new plan.

“Publishers of internet video apps can now add linear channels of programming to the company’s Android TV platform, where these channels are going to be available in the same program grid also used to navigate broadcast TV networks,” notes Janko Roettgers in a recent story for Variety.

Android TV Channels is launching with TED, Vevo, the Huffington Post, Bloomberg, the Weather Network, AOL, Pluto, and and the European live-TV streaming service Zattoo.

“Owners of an Android TV device can add these channels to their lineup by selecting them in the Play app store on their device,” explains Roettgers. “After that, these channels will be listed right next to the traditional TV channels from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox when accessed through the live TV interface of Android TVs that companies like Sony and Sharp started to sell in recent weeks. Consumers will be able to channel-surf broadcast TV networks and online sources, which should make for a much more TV-like viewing experience of online video content.”

Because publishers can also “add their own ads to their programming, and videos are still available through dedicated apps as well,” consumers will enjoy the benefits of perusing a publisher’s entire catalog and viewing shows they might have missed on linear channels.

Or, it could also cater to super fans.

“Some viewers would love to have a channel that just broadcasts ‘Friends’ reruns for 24 hours nonstop,” said Google’s Android TV product manager Allen Huang.

The biggest challenge for Google?

“Android TV doesn’t integrate with traditional cable boxes,” says Roettgers. “Consumers will still have to switch their TV input source to access their cable channels, and online video channels won’t be part of that mix anymore.”