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Google is Making a 4K OTT Streaming Dongle with Android TV for Pay TV Operators

Jason Gurwin

Google has quietly introduced a new streaming player designed to help pay-tv operators bring their own branded streaming player to market. The device is a low-cost 4K HDR dongle, which visually looks similar to the Xiaomi Mi Box, can be brought to market in just 2-3 months.

The device will have the operator’s brand both on the streaming player, as well as on the remote. Unlike Google’s own Chromecast dongle, the device runs a full-featured version of Android TV and can be customized to support the operator’s own apps. The company can also preload third-party pre-certified apps like Netflix.

According to reports, Google is partnering with an OEM called Askey on the device which is based on the ASKEY–STI6130. The device itself has a Quad core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 1.5GHz, as well as GB of Memory. It can support 802.11ac, as well as Bluetooth 4.1.

The program which is called Google OTT Turnkey is just another way that Google is hoping to broaden the appeal of their Android TV operating system. While Android TV has see 2x year-over-year growth each of the last two years, it still struggles to keep up with both the Roku and Fire TV platforms — which have 27 million and 30 million active users respectively.

As of the end of last year, the company partnered with 15+ Smart TV manufacturers including Sony, Philips, and Sharp on Android Smart TVs. They have also rolled the platform with set-top manufacturers like Arris and Huawei, as well as third-party streaming devices like the popular NVIDIA SHIELD and Xiaomi Mi Box.

The next set of growth is going after Pay TV operators. In the U.S., they partnered with Sling TV on their Air TV player, and internationally they’ve worked with vodafone, airtel, telenor, Telus, and Canal Digital. With the creation of their turnkey solution, they hope that it can propel them past their existing 140+ pay-tv partners in 60+ markets worldwide.