On Android TV, developers can create their own TV channels by developing a
TvInputService that interfaces with the Live Channels app. We have covered a number of Live Channel updates and also have a running list of Live Channels. Although the feature has been around for about the past year, only a small number of apps are taking advantage of it. Though the number has been increasing as of late, there are still a number of developers who likely don’t know this feature exists.
In order to remedy this and promote this feature, Google has just published an article on the Android Developers blog along with posting a DevByte, which is part of a video series where Google discusses implementing a feature in a short video.
Channel surfing is a popular way of watching TV. You pick up the remote, lean back, and flip through channels to see what’s on. On Android TV, app developers can create their own channel-like experiences using the TV Input Framework.
The DevByte, being short, doesn’t get bogged down in the implementation. They don’t cover time shifting features or Android N’s recording APIs. Time shifting is easily implemented through ExoPlayer or the built-in MediaPlayer. These things should be added soon to their example app though, making it easy for new devs to quickly see how to form a complete project.
If developers are looking for more help about building a TV input service, they can check the documentation and training guides.