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Android TV VS RDK Platform: What’s the Difference?

2022-04-13    1266 Reads

The TV market is constantly changing, everything becomes more convenient and smarter. Modern users enjoy more features like voice controls, personalized recommendations, TV gaming, and rich content from App stores. In recent years, Android TV and RDK-based set-top boxes (STB) have proven particularly popular among pay-TV operators in such a trend.

Some industry giants have begun to deploy Android TV & RDK platforms in their product roadmaps. In this article, we will introduce the differences and pros between them. Hope it gives you some ideas for who’s looking for the right platform strategy for the next-generation set-top boxes.

What is Android TV?

Android TV is a platform based on Android OS and developed by Google for multimedia devices including set-top boxes. Out of the box, it comes complete with an app store, preloaded apps, voice control, personalized recommendations, and a UI.

PROS of Android TV for Operators

  • Faster time to market and lower development cost
  • Rapid innovations of features and functionality
  • Operator tier Launcher or Reference UI and TV Launcher
  • Revenue sharing on apps
  • Netflix and other popular OTT services with a Google Play app out of the box
  • Rich content from GTVS(Google TV Service) to complement the operator’s content offer, which allows them to offer end-users access to third-party services while keeping in their environment
  • All broadcast services over cable, satellite, terrestrial (DVB-T/T2, ISDB-T, ATSC), IP, and OTT support

Android TV Market Trend

Google’s Android TV platform is growing rapidly, and it has been deployed by more than 170 pay-TV operators since 2016 in over 60 countries. Moreover, Android TV and Google TV were reported to have over 110 million monthly active devices in 2022, 30 million devices more in less than a year.


The RDK(Reference Design Kit), according to RDK,  is a fully modular, portable, and customizable open source software solution that standardizes core functions used in broadband, video, IoT and streaming devices.

PROS of RDK for Operators

  • Open source code enables operator control of software & choice of OEMs
  • Cloud-based backend handling the life-cycle and app store
  • Maintain complete control over design, development, deployment, and data.
  • Royalty-free software, eliminates redundant development on common features
  • RDK users contribute new improvements & the entire RDK community benefits
  • RDK scale attracts new innovation & ensures a healthy ecosystem

The difference between Android TV and RDK Platform

OS Android TV RDK
Developer Google Comcast
Netflix Project Netflix Hailstorm Netflix Da Vinci
a Netflix device scaling program based on Android TV, that aims for faster time to market and lower engineering efforts. a Netflix device scaling program based on RDK, that aims to reduce Netflix integration effort.
App Store Google Play 300+ apps
8000+ Apps
UI Customizable Customizable
Voice Control Google Assistant Alexa
Miracast Chromecast DLNA

Overall, the Android TV platform has a larger ecosystem than the RDK platform. It brings rich content and personalized users experience. The core value of RDK is the users' data fully control by operators. Therefore, every platform has its advantage.

SDMC is a key partner of the Netflix Android TV hailstorm and RDK DaVinci project, we support both platforms consequently. If you’re interested in deploying your Android TV or RDK set-top boxes, welcome to contact our experienced team at info@sdmctech.com to discuss how we can help you.


SDMC is committed to providing the leading solutions of Digital Video, Smart Connection, and Cloud Services for Operators.

Email: info@sdmctech.com
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