Google TV has taken the world by storm this year – so much so that Google hopes to completely replace Android TV with it over the next two years. TV manufacturers have already begun to work with the tech giant to create hand-crafted experiences just for their devices, and TCL and Sony have already committed to placing the app in their 2021 lineup of products.
Because I quite like the current Google TV interface and experience, I hadn’t yet considered that with so many new consumers adopting the software into their lifestyles, it may be a bit too flashy for some. I know plenty of people who are getting their first smart tv in 2021 (yes, I mean that), and even for those who have owned one for years, they may use it more as a utility than others.
Luckily for those folks, Google is creating a ‘Basic TV’ mode which will strip out several of the platform’s smart features and leave them with a minimalist experience that just and only gets the job done and will mostly benefit users who lack internet access.
Upon setting up your Google TV experience, you will soon be able to choose the new Basic TV option which will give you access to Live TV (where applicable) and external devices like those connected via HDMI. You won’t have to worry about the bulk that comes with Google Assistant, all of the apps, or even content recommendations for movies and TV shows. It’s pretty straightforward and should offer something much closer to home for those who use the TV to well, watch TV.
You should know, however, that Basic TV mode will only work on TVs running the software built-in (including those aforementioned Sony and TCL devices), and is not currently being planned to run on set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield. Luckily, if you decide that it’s too basic for you, you can jump back to the full Google TV experience any time, though it will require you to wipe everything and start over.