Smart TV interfaces provide a necessary portal for streaming, smart home control, cloud-based gaming, and multiple other apps and services, but they’re usually cluttered with junk content recommendations, free ad-supported TV deals, and, more often than not, now. in-your-face advertisements.
Google TV, the engine of Google Chromecast with Google TV streaming stick and is also used as the smart interface on the best 4k tvs from the likes of Sony, TCL, Hisense, and Philips, is one of the more prominent third-party streaming options for TV makers. But it’s also been blamed for screen clutter, and more recently for rely heavily on advertisements. The company occasionally tweaks the interface to make it easier to use, with the latest improvements coming to Google TV users this week.
Citing research that average households now subscribe to more than five different apps for entertainment, Google TV has launched four new content pages to help viewers find shows they want to watch without having to jump from app to app.
- The Movies page lets viewers browse selections by genre, title or topic and also shows new and trending releases. It offers personalized recommendations, something I’ve found Google TV to be more accurate than other smart TV platforms.
- Shows presents new releases from services you subscribe to, along with popular and trending ones you may want to check out. And when you’re done watching an episode, Google TV will suggest other episodes that Google thinks you’ll like.
- The new Spanish page provides a central location to watch Spanish-language programming, everything from movies to telenovelas. You can also access Spanish-language apps here and find a collection of Spanish-dubbed and subtitled movies and shows.
- Family unsurprisingly collects a range of movies with PG or lower ratings on one page, giving families easy access to wholesome entertainment that both kids and parents can watch together.
The new pages, which will be available to Google TV users in the US, are located below the app row in the For You tab. Google TV is also getting navigational improvements, with a profile selector moving to the top left corner of the screen so multiple users in the same household can easily access personalized settings, and a search button moving to the top right corner. Those specific changes will be rolled out globally.
Analysis: Smart TV clutter is a problem and Google’s new Pages could be a solution
As a TV reviewer, I’ve come to accept that Smart TV interfaces are generally cluttered and finding something specific I want to watch will take work. An increase in ads on the main screen has only made the situation worse, as have free TV portals with ads, something that basically all TV brands have now, pushing notifications that tempt me to watch shows I have absolutely no interest in. looking at.
Free ad-supported TV portals and recommendation engines can take up a fair chunk of the smart screen interface, and while there’s some benefit to viewers just looking for something to watch without paying for a streaming service, it fits not everyone in that category.
By providing specific page links within the smart TV interface, Google TV makes it easier for viewers to more quickly find what TV shows and movies they’re looking for, and even better, lets them limit listings to some degree. specific services they already subscribe to. That’s a definite step in the right direction when it comes to reducing the clutter on the smart TV screen.
I like Google TV – it has good personalized recommendations, and I appreciate the ability to connect to Google Photos to show slideshows from that service. But Google TV also lacks the clean, elegant interface you get with an Apple TV 4K, not to mention the Roku interface found on TVs like TCL’s 6 Series models.
Adding dedicated pages where viewers can discover movies, TV shows and more, especially from services they’ve already subscribed to, is a definite improvement, and will make Google TV a more competitive and attractive option in the smart TV world .