Google TV was unveiled on the second day of the Google I/O 2010 conference Thursday. The Google TV demo at Google I/O shows that the technology combines Android and Google Chrome to merge the web and television into a seamless experience. The most impressive feature of Google TV is that it allows users to find programs with a search bar instead of scrolling through channel directories. Google TV also allows an Android-based phone to be used a remote, complete with spoken commands.
The Google TV demo
Google TV’s Android capabilities will be built into Sony HDTVs and Blu-ray players. Logitech will sell a set-top Google TV device that can be hooked into existing televisions. The Washington Post reports that Google TV Android replaces the cable or satellite providers program guide with a simple search engine that indexes the total channel inventory and relevant web content for each channel. People will be running out for same day loans to buy Google TV devices when they hear that instead of wading through a grid of hundreds of channels, a search is typed in with either a remote or spoken into an Android phone.
Google TV search on Android also provides web options – if there are no scheduled airings of a show, users can switch to Google Chrome for streaming episodes available on Amazon or Hulu. Users can watch a show in one corner and use the rest of the screen to browse the web. Google TV can also schedule a recording on a separate DVR.
According to Google, “video should be consumed on the biggest, best and brightest screen in your house, and that’s the TV.”
Google TV devices
Google TV partners include Sony, which will launch Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray players with Google TV in the fall, engadget.com reports. Logitech will introduce a set-top Google TV device with a Harmony remote and an HD camera for video chat. Dish Network will also launch a Google TV box. Best Buy will promote the Google TV platform in retail stores. Google TV has a potential U.S. customer base of 60 million HDTV households in a $70 billion advertising market. The engadget.com article reports a total of 4 billion TV viewers worldwide — the biggest market in the world.
Google I/O calls for Google TV developers
At the Google TV demonstration at Google I/O 2010, Google called on developers to start prepping Google TV-ready apps. PC World reports that Sony and Logitech Google TV devices will be powered by an Intel Atom processor. Google TV has three main software components. First, the service will initially run Android 2.1, though it will eventually be upgraded over-the-air. The browser is Chrome and Google TV will include Flash 10.1. The mobile version of Android Market will work on Google TV. Apps currently in the market should work on Google TV if they do not require phone-specific hardware.