Google TV Is Coming Soon to a Living Room Near You

By Smriti Rao | March 18, 2010 11:02 am

TVsNot happy with only dominating the Internet, software giant Google is looking to expand into the television business, too. It won’t be producing content, but Google will be creating software in partnership with Sony and Intel that will help bring the Internet to TVs and set-top boxes all over the land.

With the just-announced Google TV, people will be able to access web features like downloadable games, Facebook, and streaming video on their TV as easily as if they were flipping channels. Some existing televisions and set-top boxes [already] offer access to Web content, but the choice of sites is limited. Google intends to open its TV platform, which is based on its Android operating system for smartphones, to software developers. The company hopes the move will spur the same outpouring of creativity that consumers have seen in applications for cellphones [The New York Times]. Google expects that products based on its software may be ready as soon as this summer.

Google’s TV platform will use Intel’s Atom chips and may also give Sony a leg up in a highly competitive hardware market, as Sony hopes to bring out the first appliances and maybe even TVs that encorporate the software. The project will use a version of Google’s Chrome Web browser to create an interface where people can use the TV not just to poke around the Internet, but also to play videos from Hulu or YouTube. The company has reportedly already built a prototype set-top box, but the technology may be incorporated directly into TVs or other devices [The New York Times].

However, Google TV will face stiff competition from Roku and Boxee–two existing devices that allow users to stream video from Netflix and a selection of other sites, while Yahoo has also come out with a TV platform that allows users to access certain Web sites. Those competitors, unsurprisingly, say their products are superior to what Google has planned; Roku CEO Anthony Wood argues that the expensive chip inside a Google TV box would raise the device’s cost to about $200, far higher than Roku’s $80 device. But as Google hasn’t officially acknowledged the project yet, price estimates for Google TV devices are pure speculation.

Experts see Google’s project as a pre-emptive move to get a foothold in the living room as more consumers start exploring ways to bring Web content to their television sets. Google wants to aggressively ensure that its services, in particular its search and advertising systems, play a central role. “Google wants to be everywhere the Internet is so they can put ads there,” one insider says [The New York Times].

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Image: iStockphoto

  • m

    Quite sensible seeing as the humble desktop computer will eventually disappear and only tv computers will dominate the home.

    With the introduction of true 3d tv’s, the advertising space wil be unimaginably big. Your movie playing in front and adverts scrolling around the back of the room perhaps.

    They have peered into the future and now they need to own it.

    Thankfully our future may be open source.

    Of course if you actually look further into the future, all films will be done by perfect avatars of actors..passed and present… with all their behaviours perfected by computers so that humble people will be making films as well as entire officers of computer engineers.

    Youll get that new star trek movie with the Kirk in it and be able to put all the greats together as in days gone by when many movies features many of the greats working together.

    If you push the envelope a tad one way youll get movies made with a amalgam of personalities created by “open source” avatar groups and these individual personalities will have cult followings. My bets on a zena and hercules amalgam avatars being popular in the future.

    Of course pushing further into the furture the TV wont exiost as a vertical screen but a series of nodes around the room/house for true 3d projected interactions. Then the technology reverts back to the box again.

    Roll up tvs etc… they will got the way of the dinosaurs as small projectors in our phones eventually can show tv on any surface and then maybe even in 3d so no wall is required.

    Scroll forward and the phone gives way to a optical eyes attachments that direct the picture straight to the eye. Augmented TV finally takes off and peoples trendy ray bans are a fraction thicker on each side to accomodate the enormous plastic computer. Including plastic batteries as the entire moldered plastic devices are printed as a device and the whole thing is the device with no moving parts. Chairs are printed and they perform various functions as with doors.

    Plastic houses eventually come into there own, every house to an owners whim. The whole device knows whos touched it, in it, what they want and it can even reconfigure itself accordingly.

    Moving forward houses are simply created by nanobots or “builders” holding a picture in there memory and building the building from the plot using the sand and dirt around. Glass houses are the fashion for a while. Cause they are dirt cheap and easy to make. They could be made today very easily if anyone bothered to do it(plans withheld).

  • http://Google.TV Anonymously

    Here is how Google TV works;

    The Logitech part of the effort is a wireless display containing Google chrome browser, you click TV objects and have the related web page display on the wireless display. The wireless display also contains the EPG. The system provides a new advertising model that takes advantage of the environment that provides both the 2 foot and the 10 foot experience. It’s smart and resolves convergence once and for all. This is the mainstream PC/STB of the future and enables Google to control most TV advertising of the future as well as the platform.

  • John

    I will watch Googles stock go through the roof once again when this is launched. This is a great idea. I wish I had thought of this! Make sure to buy a few shares of Google’s stock as well!


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