How to Navigate Google TV

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-10-28 Print this article Print


The home button is ground zero for Google TV. Users access all of their applications and TV content from there, including the Google Chrome 5.0 browser, YouTube Leanback and anything else Web- or TV-related.  

Under the arrow keys lives the star/record key, which is essential for being able to bookmark Websites and TV channels, or record TV programs.

To the right of the this key is the dual-view button, which lets users browse their Google TV content while watching current TV programs in a small screen at the bottom right.

Under the dual-view button are the rewind, fast forward and stop/pause controls to manage recorded television. Because we had synced Revue with our U-Verse service, we were able to access our recorded U-verse movies and programs.

This is the sort of seamless integration Google officials have been touting since May, and, while it's very good, it's not perfect. I can't control DVDs in my A/V player, or switch from TV to DVD to AM/FM radio on the controller. That would be nice functionality for the future.

The TV channel arrangement itself on Google TV is nice. You must access your "favorite menus" from your existing service, but you can also see TV channels grouped according to genres for movies, news, sports, comedy, drama and more.

We mentioned above that Google TV is essentially a way to turn your TV into a computer. This is true, especially if you're the type that consumes a lot of Web apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and anything else online.

People may be wowed by watching a football game, then tweeting about it without leaving the channel-this thanks to dual-view-but other perks caught our attention. Without a PlayStation or Xbox nearby, we took to streaming Netflix content on our PCs, which was hooked into the TV via an HDMI cable.

The Netflix app via Google TV dashed that practice. The app, though minimalistic, serves its purpose, delivering content from our Instant queue, thus allowing us to browse, play and remove items. But it remains a fairly dumb media server.

You can't order new content for streaming or order DVDs to the house the way you can from from your PC. And when you go to, it tells you the OS-remember, it's Android 2.1-does not support


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