Google TV is a platform for Smart TV application development for High Definition Televisions co developed by Google, Sony and Logitech. It supports android operating systems so we can use android applications in to Smart TV which supports Google TV.Android SDK and API provide functionality to develop Smart TV applications using Google TV Add-ons. The Honeycomb (3.2) version of android supports Google TV Add-ons. Some Android features that are primarily used by mobile devices are not supported by Google TV i.e. touch screen support, NDK, Bluetooth, camera, GPS, sensors.
- User Interface in Google TV
Smart TV does not support touch screen functionality like mobile phones. So in Google TV, navigation in the application is done differently using “DPAD”. It will help to navigate in the left, right, top, bottom, select using DPAD or remote control of Smart TV. Not all Google TV devices include their own display, so they detect screen resolution and density from the TV and from settings that the user makes during initialization.
Smart TVs has large display as compare to mobile phones. Mobile phones are viewed from close ups while we view television from certain distance so user need to create the application with Larger UI and Screen size.
- Features supported by Google TV
- Live TV Android application: In Google TV, Live TV viewing is possible with the Live TV android Application. It can actually store the signal and show the TV contents.
- Channel Listing content provider: Channel listing content provider is also provided by Google TV which is used for Live Channel viewing. It shows channel for currently supported signals.
- Google TV add-on: Google TV also has an add-on package containing support for Google TV emulator. This helps you test your Android apps in a Google TV environment without using an actual Google TV device.
- Basic Setup
- System requirements: Following are the system requirements for Google TV application development:
- SDK Platform Android 3.1, API 12 (or later).
- Android SDK Tools revision 12 (or later).
- Google TV Add-on.
- If you do not have the same SDK, download android SDK from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html or upgrade your SDK from older version to API 13.
- After installing the proper version of android SDK, you can add Google TV Add-on.
- Google TV Add-on
- Google TV SDK Add-on allows developers to create Google TV-specific Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) for the Android emulator.
- Installing the Add-On:
- Start the android SDK manager from eclipse.
- The path of your SDK will be shown at the left hand side on the top. Below the path you will see the packages installed or not installed in your environment.
- From the list of available packages in the left hand side, select the API 3.2 which supports Google TV Add-on. Select Google TV Add-on entry and then click on Install Packages.
- In the next dialog, click Accept All on the right, and then click Install. A progress bar appears as the new package is downloaded.
- You now have the Google TV Add-on. Now you can create the emulator for Smart TV to debug and execute your Smart TV application.
- Creating the Emulator
- AVD for the Google TV is same as the AVD for normal android applications. We just need to give screen size and Google TV Add-on in the device used by the emulator.
- To create the Emulator for Google TV, open the AVD manager from Windows->AVD Manager. Press on New to start the new device.
- Following settings are required in the AVD manager.
- AVD target of Google TV Add-on.
- Screen resolution of 1280 x 720 as shown below.
- The CPU type will be automatically changed to Atom x86 when you select API Level 13 in the target.
- You required setting the SD card size to handle the media storage but it is recommended that you keep SD card size small to improve the emulator speed.
- Now press OK so you will see the name of the AVD created by you in the list of AVDs. Press on Start and launch the emulator.
- Following is the Google TV emulator in which you can run your smart TV application.
Hope, this post may prove to be useful to you in creating your smart TV app with Google TV. Let us know by posting your valuable comments.