Is Western Digital working on a Google TV device?

February 18, 2013
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WD Android TV - Google TVWestern Digital is well known for its hard drives, but it also manufactures a few other things like networking equipment and media players. It current range of “WD TV” media players are custom designs with support for a range of media formats, like MP3, AVI, H.264 etc. However it looks as if WD is broadening its product range to include Android TV and Google TV based solutions.

According to a new job advert, WD are looking for a lead software architect for work connected with the “design and deployment for Android based IP set top boxes.” Furthermore, the job description adds that the work “would include Android TV and Google TV solutions.”  Although WD has its own existing solutions it looks as if the company is branching out into Android as the successful candidate would need “2+ years developing Android based applications.”

It is unclear if WD are planning on making a vanilla Google TV box but from the job description it looks like WD’s plans are bigger. For starters it looks like the new device(s) will have their own API (application programming interface) which means that WD could be looking for third parties to write apps just for their device. Also the WD device will integrate premium services not currently available on stock Google TV (but which could be available from the app store). Currently Western Digital’s media player support services like Spotify and Pandora.

The UI will be bespoke as the job description calls for a new app centric architecture for 10 foot user interfaces and there will also be support for a second monitor / TV.

If WD are just advertising now it means that the eventual products are quite a way off yet, however it is interesting to see that Android is gaining greater acceptance as an OS for devices other than phones and tablets.

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