Philips Adding Android TV to 2019 Lineup

The number of smart TVs running on the Android TV platform is growing with the CES 2019 announcement that select Philips-brand TVs will feature the platform in 2019.

The Philips brand, marketed in the U.S. by Funai Corp., plans two series of Android TVs, each with five display sizes ranging from 43 to 75 inches at prices starting at $350.

Philips also offers smart TVs running the Roku TV smart-TV OS.

All of the 4K Android TVs are LED-illuminated LCD models with HDR10 high dynamic range (HDR) and built-in Google Assistant, which delivers voice control of TV functions, Google services, and compatible smart-home devices. TVs in both series listen for voice commands through a microphone-equipped Bluetooth remote, but the 5904 series also embeds a far-field microphone in the TV itself to listen for voice commands.

The Android TV platform supports downloadable apps, including streaming audio and video apps, and controls compatible smart-home devices such as Philips Hue light bulbs. The 5704 and 5904 TVs also feature Chromecast Built-in (CCBI), enabling them to stream content from Cloud-based audio and video services while maintaining control through CCBI-compatible smartphone apps.

Other features include Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band MIMO and Bluetooth 4.2, which sends audio wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones and connects to Bluetooth keyboards.

Select 5704-series models are in stores now, with the remainder due in the spring. The 75-inch TV (pictured) in that series retails for $1,500. The 5904 series will be available in the second half at prices that haven’t been announced.

Other TV brands offering Android TV in the U.S. are Element, Haier, Hisense, Sony, and Westinghouse, which also offers TVs running on the Amazon FireTV smart-TV platform. JBL’s Link Bar soundbar also incorporates Android TV, as do streaming-media devices from Nvidia and Xiaomi.

Google’s Android TV is in a competitive race against Amazon’s Fire TV OS (available in TVs bearing Best Buy’s Insignia house brand, Toshiba, and Westinghouse) and the Roku TV OS (available in TVs from Element, Hisense, Hitachi, JVC, Philips, RCA, Sharp (marketed by Hisense), TCL, and the Funai-marketed Magnavox and Sanyo brands.

Also at CES, Funai launched the Magnavox brand’s first 4K Roku TVs, due this spring in 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes. They’ll join Magnavox’s HD-resolution Roku TVs, launched in 2018. All new models feature HDR10, and they’ll get upgrades to add voice control of TV functions via a separate Google Assistant smart speaker.