Google’s latest Chromecast was announced last year and heralded the eventual transition from Android TV to Google TV. But unlike custom skins, this new interface, with features like the Live tab and better Assistant integration, is also available to third-party TV makers like Sony and TCL. Now we are learning that these teams will also ship with a basic TV mode that strips them of their intelligence.
Discovered by 9to5Google On an ADT-3 dongle, the new mode will be available as an option during the initial setup process on TVs that ship with Google TV. Basic TV mode only offers live TV and support for external devices, while eliminating almost everything that Google TV offers, including the ability to stream content.
Google TV vs. Basic TV
Unsurprisingly, the home screen in this mode is pretty … basic. There’s a dedicated button for Dashboard, and presumably there will also be buttons for quick access to Live TV and HDMI inputs. The following screenshot does not show these buttons, as the ADT-3 lacks the necessary inputs to activate these elements of the user interface.
Perhaps the good news is that it won’t be too difficult to switch to the smart experience if users want to do so. There is a permanent banner on the home screen and a prominent notice in the settings menu that will allow users to quickly move to the smart side of things. However, it seems that users who want to switch from Google TV to Basic TV will have to perform a hard reset.
Google says the new mode was designed with users who lack internet access in mind. This can satisfy the needs of those who prefer the simplicity of a dumb TV. Get those bunny ears out!