When we think of AOSP, many believe it’s one single code base that can be universally installed on a number of different platforms. While AOSP can be used on a number of different form factors, developers need to use certain components that are made for the device type it will be used on. For example, if you’re wanting to build AOSP for an Android TV type of device, you’ll need to use specific components such as the TV Input Framework and the Lean Back APIs since they are unique to TV.
The TV Input Framework (also known as the TIF) enables the device to deliver live TV content to the user. Since this is a framework, that means it has a number of components built into it such as the TV Input Manager, TV App, and TV Input HAL. Most companies will just throw Android TV onto a box and ship it to the customer but those require Google Mobile Services and must be verified by Google. The Linaro Digital Home Group (and many others) felt the need to create a common AOSP TV starting point.
The end goal was to create this for the ARM-based Linaro 96Boards platforms with work beginning on Consumer Edition boards and then migrating to the 96Boards targeted for TV and media, the TV Platform specification. The LHG’s initial build has been created for the HiKey CE platform since it’s an approved Android reference board. For those who are interested, the preferred configuration is the 2GB RAM HiKey LeMaker version.
For anyone interested in testing this build out for themselves, you can head over to the Linaro wiki and download the source. This page also has instructions for how to build the AOSP TV platform itself, as well as a starting point for anyone who wants to create apps for it.