Evolution launches Android TV set-top for pay TV operators

The new eStream 4K set-top is powered by Android TV. (Image: Evolution Digital)

Evolution Digital has become the latest pay TV vendor to offer an Android TV-powered set-top for MVPDs. 

The eStream 4K device will be individually branded by Evolution’s Tier 2 and 3 cable clients and will come certified with Android TV Oreo 8.0 software. The set-top will blend cable programming guides with popular over-the-top services, as well as transactional components through the Google Play store.

Its remote will support voice navigation, and the Bluetooth-capable box will be equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi with a 4x4 antenna configuration. The device will utilize HEVC/H.265 and VP9 for bandwidth efficiency. 

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“Our eStream 4K solution is designed to be the last set-top box a consumer will need, as our box beats out the competition by aggregating content through one stunning user interface,” said Brent Smith, president and CTO of Centennial, Colorado-based Evolution Digital, in a statement. “With eStream 4K, operators can move beyond legacy cable technology and benefit from the innovation available through the Android TV platform.”

RELATED: From Comcast to Arris, pay TV embraces Android TV, even as anti-Google sentiment still simmers

The subject of Android TV has been a dicey one in the cable industry of late, with operators coveting a simple, elegant solution to deliver OTT services to subscribers … but loath to be seen patterning with Android TV’s creator, Google, in any way. 

Still, the Android TV platform is gaining a foothold, with Arris announcing its own line of IP set-tops powered by the software at IBC in Amsterdam last September. 

In November, Comcast announced a new Android TV app for its Xfinity TV Partner program, which lets users with supported devices use their Comcast video service without a set-top. Comcast’s Android TV app will initially only work on Sony smart TVs, but it’s very imaginable that Comcast will support other Android TV devices soon.