Google TV has been rumored for months, but it’s finally been unveiled by the search giant at Google I/O. Google TV will use the Android operating system and the Chrome browser, and Google is partnering with Sony, Logitech, and Best Buy.
Web TV, Literally
The concept of Web TV has, obviously, been with us for a long time now. Watching video content on the Web via a browser on your PC or Mac is now as ubiquitous as any other form of visual media.
However, while watching video in this way is amazing, the long-dreamed of desire is for Web TV to be transported lock, stock, and barrel to the big-screen television most of us now have in our living rooms. In essence, turning Web TV into a proper laid-back televisual experience.
This move has already begun, with games consoles, set-top boxes (including Apple TV), and Web-connected television sets and Blu-ray players leading the charge. But Google has just entered the fray, and the ante has been upped considerably.
Rumors of Google TV have been around for months, but March saw the first real details emerge, albeit in an unofficial capacity. But now, two months later, Google has finally seen fit to let us all in on its plans.
Google TV is a new television platform that Google hopes will bring Web TV into the living room in a big way.
The idea is simple: an Android-powered platform will be integrated into TVs and Blu-ray players. Via a simple UI, viewers will be able to search the whole of the Web for video content they want to watch. Google TV will locate it and, if possible, serve it up on the big screen.
Google TV will take the form of both software integrated into Sony TVs and Blu-ray players, and hardware in the form of a Logitech set-top box. All of which will be available in the fall, with Best Buy being the prime retail partner.
Google TV also includes the full Chrome Web browser, meaning users aren’t limited to the recommendations Google makes.
Google’s reasons for launching Google TV are all about money. There are billions of TV viewers around the world, and this means a huge advertising payday for whatever company can best tap into the potential marriage between those viewers and the wealth of video content now on the Web.
Google TV is going to be huge. Make no mistakes about it. While Apple has been messing about with the Apple TV platform, seeing it as a hobby more than anything, Google has been doing deals with partners and making plans that actually stand a chance of succeeding.
Best of all, Google is going the open source route, bringing developers on board with Android apps.