Google debuts Google TV with Sony and Intel
Google Inc. wants to bring the Internet to your television screen.
The Internet giant unveiled a new platform called Google TV that it says "will change the future of television" during the company's developer conference Thursday in San Francisco. Google is putting its Android software and Chrome Web browser on television and other home entertainment devices in an attempt to succeed where others have struggled: in merging television and the Internet.
Google TV will be available on television sets, Blu-ray players and companion set-top boxes through partnerships with Intel Corp. and Sony Corp. Special “input devices” will include a keyboard and remote-control-type pointing device.
The first devices will be available in the fall in time for the holiday shopping season.
“As other technologies have evolved and changed, TV has remained the same," Rishi Chandra, the project leader, told 5,000 developers gathered for the conference in San Francisco. "Video should be consumed on the biggest, best and brightest screen in the house and that is a TV."
Google is pitching its new platform as an easy way to search for television programming and Internet content without having to navigate slow on-screen directories. Instead users can pull down a search box to find what they are looking for on television and the Web. Search for "House" and you get all the episodes available on USA and Fox as well as on Hulu.com and for purchase on Amazon.com. That way, the TV becomes “a natural extension of the Web itself,” Chandra said.
Some examples that Google offered of what consumers can do with Google TV: If you miss the State of the Union speech, you can search for it on Google TV, find it on Whitehouse.gov and play the video on your television. You can put an NBA game in picture-in-picture mode and check out the box score while you are watching. During "American Idol," you can follow discussion about the show on Twitter. Users can also watch YouTube videos on their televisions, even beaming them to the screen from their Android phone.
Personally, I'm ready for any alternative to my local cable company's monopoly that isn't dependent on a tiny satellite dish on my house, which gets blocked by passing aircraft and thunderstorms - the latter of which is when I really need TV access. I pay too much and get too little in return for TV now. This could be a nice alternative.