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Someday you might be able to use your Android TV as a Bluetooth speaker
- Behind-the-scenes code investigations show that Android TV systems could support acting as a Bluetooth speaker.
- If fully merged, it would allow any Google TV or Android TV device to work just like the BT speakers you already own.
- There’s no definitive timeline on when this could happen if it happens at all.
Most Android TV systems can support sending audio out over Bluetooth. This allows for convenient features such as using a pair of Bluetooth headphones while watching TV. However, very few Android TVs can support receiving Bluetooth streams. That might change in the future, though.
Thanks to some code-sleuthing from Mishaal Rahman (as explained on his paywalled Patreon page where he dishes exclusive Android news and leaks), Google and MediaTek could be working on integrating Bluetooth media reception in the platform’s core code. This would allow you to use Android TV as a Bluetooth speaker of sorts. You could use your smartphone to connect to the “speaker” just as you would with a real BT speaker system.
Today, the AOSP version of Android TV does not support acting as a sink for Bluetooth media because it is designed to act as a source exclusively. In other words, Android TV doesn’t support acting simultaneously as a receiver and sender of BT audio. Some third-party manufacturers have chosen to add support on their own (with OnePlus being notable among them), but Android TV doesn’t come that way “out of the box,” so to speak.
Last year, Rahman spotted some MediaTek-designed patches allowing simultaneous sending/receiving of BT packets. Recently, though, these patches were merged into AOSP’s Bluetooth stack with a comment from a Googler flagging them as important. The Googler even noted that this is “something Android TV needs.” So it would seem this is something Google is working on.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how long it might be before we see this roll out — if it ever rolls out. For now, though, we can rest assured that Google is working on this and could bring it to the masses soon. This would certainly make house parties easier as there would no doubt be a visual element incorporated with this feature, such as an on-screen QR code house guests could scan to quick-connect to the TV’s Bluetooth. Then you’re only problem would be stopping that one guest from playing music you hate.