Monday, September 25, 2023

Google TV interface

Last week, I decided I would use my Chromecast more. I've actually followed through on that.

Perhaps it's actually the Google TV interface on the Android TV platform running on the Google Chromecast with Google TV. But that's way too much to say, so I'm just calling it "Chromecast." meaning the device, focusing on the interface.

There is something about the device itself to discuss, particularly the remote. I like the remote that comes with Walmart's Onn streaming box better. But, that's a discussion for another day. Right now, I'm talking about the Google TV interface. I'm using my Chromecast HD device.

I don't like the busier interfaces that are found on Google TV, as well as on Fire TV. I prefer the simplicity of Roku. There is a list of apps, and I launch the one I want.

That brings up something I like about Google TV. I can use the system in an apps-only mode. That is, it will work a lot like a Roku device. Well, there is the big ad with suggestions that takes up 3/4 of the home screen, but a row of five apps is visible, and scrolling down to that shows all the apps on the device.

I actually like that compromise. It's a profile setting, meaning that if you have multiple profiles on the device, one can be in apps-only and another in standard mode, with suggetions and such. The focus is getting you to watch specific content, not the actual apps.

That's really a good way to watch TV. In fact, is an excellent way to watch TV. It's how everyone used to watch TV. The shows, specific content, was what we were after.

Today, when people consider cutting the cord, they want to know about specific channels to watch, not specific content on the channels. It's the content that's important, and that's the focus of the standard Google TV interface.

Of course, I realize that here I am talking about how good it is to focus on content, and I prefer the streaming device that focuses on apps. I am aware of the incongruity. And that's why I'm actually using the standard mode for checking out Google TV.

I gotta admit, I see why they do it that way. It is a good thing to focus on content, because that truly is what it's all about.

The Home screen looks pretty good. The ad at the top takes up 1/2 of it, compared to about 3/4 of the apps-only mode screen.

That's the top. There is the main ad, then some "top picks," followed by the list of installed apps. That's a pretty decent layout.

I can see how the listing of popular videos, including videos for sale, would be a good thing for some. Google is using it as a way to push sales of content. If it's content you want, then good. If not, it's pretty much spam.

The section where the user can select Movies, Shows, Family content, and so on can also be quite useful. Following that row are several rows of different genre of content, both movies and TV shows.

My Streaming Life has always been primarily focused on Roku. I think I could get use to this. After a month of using this platform, I'm wondering how easy it will be to return to Roku. Or if I'll want to.

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