Here’s an Android TV ‘Operator Dongle’ designed and developed by Google

Much of Android TV’s growth over the past year has come from Pay-TV operators taking advantage of the flexibility that Google grants them in the software. At IBC 2019, Google shared a new design that operators can use to quickly deploy Android TV to its customers.

There’s been much confusion regarding this new Android TV dongle that Google showed off at IBC over the weekend, and we’re hoping to clear things up a bit.

Google’s Shalini Govil-Pai led a press conference at the event that discussed how Android TV is growing and, more specifically, how it has been benefitting operators. As Google continues to grow its 140+ operator partners, the company wants to make it a bit easier for those partners to get new hardware on the market.

The image below, which was used by Google in a presentation, shows an Android TV dongle that Google specifically designed and developed. While it’s exciting to see Google-made hardware for Android TV, it’s very important to note that this isn’t for consumers. Rather, this dongle is designed solely for operators.

google android tv operator dongle

This is the Google-designed “Operator Dongle” for Android TV

The hardware is very basic, with space for operator branding and an operator button on the remote as well. The dongle itself appears to have USB-C on board, and the remote also offers a dedicated Google Assistant button. There’s a quad-core processor under the hood with dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

Apparently, Google also worked out the manufacturing logistics of this device with Askey to allow operators to quickly customize the interface to suit operator needs. Popular services are pre-certified (presumably Netflix and others) and Google mentions that it’s set for 3 years of future software updates as well provided by Google itself.

Along with the Operator Dongle, Google also showed off a hybrid-STB reference design, which is pictured below. This board is production-ready with an Amlogic CPU and is designed to help set a standard for upgrades in the future. This design also includes a Bluetooth remote, but it only gets operators about halfway to a completed product. Still, compared to the dongle, it offers more flexibility for the final hardware design.

android tv hybrid stb reference design

This is a production-ready hybrid-STB reference design for Android TV operators

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