Google TV OS can turn a Smart TV ‘dumb’ with ‘Basic TV’ mode: Will retain access to Live TV and HDMI inputs only

Google TV OS Update Basic Mode
Google offers to turn Smart TV into a ‘Dumb’ one with a new ‘Basic TV’ mode. Pic credit: Pexels/Pixabay

The upcoming update to Google TV OS includes a new ‘Basic TV’ mode that turns any Smart TV into a simple television set devoid of smart features. The new mode retains access to Live TV and HDMI inputs only.

For people who feel overwhelmed with a plethora of features, UI elements, and apps, Google is offering a ‘Basic TV’ mode. The special restricted access will have significantly reduced UI elements. Needless to add, the mode will also benefit users who connect gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X.

Google TV OS includes Basic TV Mode with restricted features and simple UI elements:

Google TV is the search giant’s latest attempt to streamline and improve Smart TV software. The operating system consists of five main components. These are apps, content recommendations, Google Assistant, live TV, and external inputs (for HDMI cables, for instance).

Google TV will try and extend Android TV’s ecosystem. However, for people who rarely need the Smart TV features or those who only use their TVs for connecting gaming consoles, the Basic TV mode should be very practical.

This new “Basic TV” option appears at the setup for television sets running on Google TV. It is not available for set-top boxes. Selecting the Basic TV mode essentially eliminates all the Smart TV features, and leaves only Live TV and external inputs, which is HDMI, and presumably connections to soundbars.

The Basic TV mode goes way beyond the “Apps Only” mode that Chromecast is offering with Google TV. Selecting the “Basic TV” option will remove the OS apps, content recommendations from various OTT platforms, and even the Google Assistant support.

Why is Google offering Basic TV Mode and how to access the same?

During the initial setup, the Google TV OS will offer two options: Google TV and Basic TV. Selecting the Google TV option will grant access to:

  • Apps
  • Content Recommendations
  • Google Assistant
  • Live TV
  • External Inputs (HDMI)

However, users who select the Basic TV option will get just the last two facilities. Google TV is also eliminating the ‘Screencast’ feature.

Google has assured that users who have selected Basic TV and wish to switch back, can easily do so. According to reports, there will be a prominent button in the settings menu to revert back to the full Google TV ecosystem.

A Google spokesperson indicated the company designed the feature for users who lacked internet connectivity. However, the Basic TV mode in Google TV will also appeal to people who are extremely cautious about their privacy.

Needless to add, many Smart TV owners connect third-party set-top boxes such as Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, etc. for streaming their content. Such users rarely, if ever, need access to all the Smart TV functions.

There are no Smart TVs with Google TV OS yet on the market. However, Google TV debuted on the new Chromecast, where it offered a new interface built on Google’s existing Android TV software. TV makers such as TCL and Sony have indicated that some of their upcoming products will run on Google TV.

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