Google at Google I/O introduces its effort to merge the TV-watching experience with searching and surfing the Web, an ambitious move that follows where Apple, Microsoft and others have failed to find great traction. Google TV is based on the Android 2.1 mobile operating system and uses Google's Chrome Web browser with support for Adobe's Flash 10.1. The company has tabbed Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, Dish Network and Adobe as partners.
merge the TV-watching experience with surfing the Web, an ambitious move that
follows where Apple, Microsoft and others have failed to find great traction.
Unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference May 20, Google TV is based
on the Android 2.1 mobile operating system and uses Google's Chrome Web browser
with support for Adobe Systems' Flash 10.1. Google has identified Intel, Sony,
Logitech, Best Buy, Dish Network and Adobe as partners.
Google TV is designed to let users enjoy the content consumption they get
from watching big-screen TVs along with the searching and information-gathering
experience they know and love from computers and Web applications.
The idea is that people will be able to turn on their TVs and navigate
between all of their channels and all of their favorite Websites and Web
applications, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Picasa,
Gmail, Facebook and Twitter.
To that end, Google TV also marks the company's latest effort to generate advertising dollars
from Web applications and
Google TV Project Lead Rishi Chandra, fighting off spotty WiFi access at the
in San Francisco, demonstrated how
users will be able to access a drop-down search bar from the top of a Sony TV
screen to search among various news channels and YouTube.
There were some neat features users have come to associate with IPTV
services, including the ability to minimize a TV program in a small box in the
lower right-hand corner of the TV screen to see what programming is showing on
other channels, or even read statistics related to sporting events on the
Chandra also showed how users can search by speaking into a remote control
device, provided by partner Logitech, which is also providing a keyboard
controller. Users will also be able to control Google TV through Android
Also, YouTube has created Leanback, optimized for the television, which
plays users' personal videos when they navigate to the site.
Google expects the more than 180,000 Android developers to build
entertainment, gaming and productivity applications for Google TV, just as they
built similar applications for smartphones based on Android.
Google TV will be integrated in Sony televisions and Blu-ray players and
Logitech companion boxes (along with remotes). These machines will come
equipped with WiFi and Ethernet and will connect to satellite and cable boxes
through HDMI cables. All of these devices will be sold through Best Buy in the
fall, though pricing is not yet available.
Intel's Atom CE4100 system-on-a-chip processor will power the Sony TVs and
Logitech companion boxes. Intel CEO Paul
Otellini said at Google I/O the Atom processor is specially designed for
consumer electronics devices.
Google TV will work with any TV operator, but the user experience will be
fully optimized for the Dish Network at launch. Google is also aiming to add
Google TV to Dish's DVRs.
The Google TV SDK (software development kit) and Web APIs for TV will arrive
later; developers will sell applications through the Android Market.