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France’s Free may use Android TV for its next set-top box

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Google may have found another partner for its new Android TV platform: French telco giant Free is looking to launch an Android TV-based set-top box soon, according to a FRAndroid report. The device would offer access to Google’s Play store, and presumably also carry apps for services like YouTube and the newly-launched French version of Netflix.

FRAndroid based its report on unnamed sources, but also noted that [company]Free[/company]’s TV hardware is due for a refresh. A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

[company]Google[/company] introduced Android TV at its Google I/O developer conference in June as its next step for the living room. The platform is based on Android L, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, and includes some TV-specific features, including a special home screen that features videos from apps installed on the system in a cards-based interface.

Some of Google’s launch partners for Android TV include [company]Sony[/company], [company]Sharp[/company] and [company]Razer[/company], but company representatives also told me that they want to continue to work with pay TV operators. Google previously struck an alliance for LG in Korea to power its Uplus TV service with Google TV-based hardware, and it looks like Uplus will make use of Android TV hardware as well.

Check out a first look at Android TV below:

2 Responses to “France’s Free may use Android TV for its next set-top box”

  1. It’s quite interesting to see how Android can become a new solution for PayTV providers. Especially with Android L which brings several new enhancements for the TV usage. The android ecosystem and the Google services (Play, Youtube, Chromecast…) can really enhance the value for the final user, but AndroidTV UI doesn’t seem to be enough service-provider-friendly and ready for mass-market, at least on the User Experience side : the LiveTV is not central, and Google disintermediate too much the relation between the service provider and its customers.
    This is why some service providers (like Bouygues Telecom in France), have decided to bring a TV-Centric launcher on top of AndroidTV, as can been seen on this video : where the User Interface has been designed by a startup (iFeelSmart) to blend the classic Live TV experience with the non linear content and android apps. The result is quite interesting and can definitively promote Android and AndroidTV as solutions for Cable, Sat and IPTV devices.