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Google tweaks TV interface with new menus

A refreshed version of the Google TV home screen, with new tiles for movies, shows and other content. (Graphic by The Desk)

Google has tweaked the home screen of its Google TV interface, eliminating some tabs at the top of the screen in favor of sub-menus for movies, shows, family and Spanish-language content.

The refresh was announced in a blog post published by Google last week that detailed the changes, which are rolling out to users of Google TV in the coming weeks. Streamers who use Google’s Chromecast with Google TV devices will start to see the changes this week.

The update was described by Google as a way to help streamers find the type of content they want to watch across supported partner services, which includes Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, Starz, HBO Max, Paramount Plus and Peacock.

Previously, content recommendations were included in “tabs” that appeared across the top of the Google TV home screen, which were refreshed every time a user exited out of an app or restarted their device. By relegating that content discovery feature to its own sub-menus, Google is able to cut down on the time it takes to fetch new content, which should help speed up under-powered devices like the HD-only version of the Chromecast with Google TV.

Google said the new user interface will also come with a handful of non-content related improvements. Those with multiple user profiles attached to their Google TV device will now be able to switch profiles from a menu option in the top-left corner of the home screen; previously, the option to switch profiles was on the right corner. A new, quick settings button has also been launched on supported devices.

Google says the refreshed user interface will roll out to Google TV-powered smart television sets made by TCL, Hisense, Philips, Sony and other brands soon.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).