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Google Tackles the Living Room With Android TV

Google jumps into the smart TV space once again.

Vjeran Pavic

Try, try again.

That should be the motto for Google’s effort to push into the set top box space.

Despite flops with two prior attempts, Google is back with Android TV, another play for the largest screen in the house.

Gaming is a big focus of Google’s latest set-top box initiative. During its Google I/O developer event in San Francisco Wednesday, the company showed off a number of games for Android TV, including NBA Jam from EA Sports.

Another of Android TV’s key features: Voice control. Much like Amazon’s Fire TV, you’ll be able to control Android TV with simple voice commands.

Next year’s Smart TVs from Sony and Sharp will feature Android TV, with boxes coming from Razer, ASUS and others coming this fall. Google is offering developers a reference set-top box, known as ADT1, so they can begin working on their apps.

Built on the just-announced L version of the Android operating system, Android TV won’t require developers to build separate apps for mobile devices and TV.

“This isn’t a new platform,” engineering director David Burke said. “We’re simply giving TV the same level of attention as phones and tablets have traditionally enjoyed.”

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