Google Oct. 26 doled out more than 3,000 Logitech Revue companion boxes to attendees of the Adobe Max developer conference, and will give away 7,000 more to get developers writing applications for the service.
Google TV is the search engine’s Android 2.1-based cocktail of TV and Web content, accessible with Google TV Search and Google Chrome Web browser.
Consumers may get Google TV now on Revue companion boxes for $299.99 from Logitech.com, Best Buy or Amazon.com, or Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray players ($399.99) from Sony Style Stores, Best Buy and Amazon.com.
One of the early knocks on the service — and eWEEK is sympathetic to this view after testing Google TV on the Revue — is that there are too few Websites or applications properly formatted for serving the service on big screens.
Google does offer a Spotlight section of Websites tailored for Google TV. This includes Google’s own YouTube Leanback, CNN, The New York Times, HBO Go, Twitter, Vevo, The Onion and more.
But that’s just a smattering of Google TV-optimized Websites among the hundreds of millions Google TV users won’t be able to cleanly view. That’s why it is imperative for Google to get developers building Google-TV centric apps.
The company is releasing a special Android SDK for Google TV next year, but by seeding 10,000 developers with Google TV on Revues, it will enable them to get a jump on writing software for the big screen.
“We are focusing our efforts on empowering the developers of the world to make Google TV an even better experience, through Websites that have been built with the TV screen in mind,” explained Google TV Developer Advocate Amanda Surya.
“For users, better-looking and more interesting Websites means that the overall Google TV experience is even better. We want to encourage a new generation of TV developers to come forward to make this vision a reality.
After giving out 3,000 Revues at Max, Google is offering the other 7,000 Revues to Web developers in the Google Code community and to professional Web developers who aren’t part of Google Code.
This latter group must submit an entry to Google TV Web Developer Promotion with a short summary about the type of Website they want to optimize for Google TV. Google will pick 2,500 winners from those entries to receive a free Revue box.