The use of Android TV is more than just a surface change; GigaOM says that Google will begin using much more recent versions of Android in its TV products, giving manufacturers the chance to upgrade to 4.2 in an effort to make it easier for developers to target smartphone, tablet and television end points for their software and apps.
This would not be a surprising move for Google. When it first launched its Google TV efforts, the Google brand was arguably stronger than Android, and more generally recognizable to consumers. Now, Android has much more mindshare, and the average consumer is probably well aware that Android is Google’s mobile OS. Plus, the Google TV brand hasn’t done much to help further Google’s cause with living room users, and in fact was widely perceived as an early flop before slowly gaining back ground among users and OEM partners.