The test devices, dubbed ADT-1, are being shipped out to a select group of developers that signed up to receive them at Google’s I/O 2014 event, with Netflix and Hulu reportedly having received them ahead of that event.
Other application developers can use an emulator to develop apps ahead of Android TV becoming available.
Like Google’s successful Chromecast TV dongle, which has just celebrated its first birthday, Android TV will enable users to ‘cast’ media from other Android devices to the TV. The platform is expected to be available on devices including Sony’s 2015 range of smart TVs.
The platform will include an optional recommendations engine, and Google is retaining close control of the overall look and feel of the platform, with limited scope for variations between device manufacturers. Games are expected to play a significant part in defining the appeal of the platform.