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Google announces Google TV project

Google announces Google TV project

Logitech will be one of the first manufacturers to launch a Google TV-based set-top box.

Google has used its 2010 I/O conference to announce what it hopes will be the next big thing to hit the living room: Google TV.

According to a live blog from the event over on I4U, the system will take the form of an Internet-connected set-top box - with future version possibly being integrated directly into TVs - running Google's Android platform and include a Chrome-based web browser and full support for Flash 10.1.

The general principle is that Google TV will allow access to Internet-based content - including streaming video and web searches - without tearing you away from your normal TV viewing. By overlaying the information on top of whatever is currently playing back, it's possible to perform a quick search without stopping watching your favourite programme.

Interestingly, the Google TV boxes will also feature video recording functionality: searching for a programme or channel name will bring up scheduling information, and a 'Record' option will be available for each programme.

One thing that I4U did report on was that the early build boxes used to demonstrate Google TV were somewhat flaky: cries of "can we switch to the other box" were frequently heard as the demo units become unresponsive during the live demo - not the most auspicious of starts for the new technology.

The company will not be producing the set-top boxes for Google TV itself, but is instead partnering with several manufacturers - including Sony and Logitech, which TweakTown reports will be producing both a set-top box and a companion controller featuring a keyboard, remote control, and touchpad in a single compact device.

As with many of Google's products, there is one clear thrust to Google TV: advertising. According to GigaOM, Google's Eric Schmidt sees Google TV as providing a platform to get Google's advertising in front of more eyes than ever before, stating "we can do even more relevant television advertising [with Google TV], which should be worth a lot of money."

If you're curious as to what the Google TV user interface is going to look like, early images have been posted over at BusinessInsider.

This isn't the first time a company has attempted to combine the largely passive world of TV watching with the interactive world of the Internet - CNet has a run-down of previous attempts, and TVs from several manufacturers are starting to appear with in-built Internet access features - but with Google's backing it could well be the first to succeed.

Do you think that Google's TV could be the big thing your living room has been missing, or is the company barking up the wrong tree with this latest venture? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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V3ctor 21st May 2010, 12:09 Quote
Can't remember when it was announced, but this "idea" has some years, they already presented some tv's with that chip and with the integration with a browser and wi-fi... Good idea :)
eddtox 21st May 2010, 13:45 Quote
And, of course, this ties in nicely with their announcement about the WebM(?) video codec. Say what you like about Google, but they do have some clever people pushing them forward.
greigaitken 21st May 2010, 20:08 Quote
when we have a network that can cope with more than current demands - I'll look out for net tv.
glaeken 22nd May 2010, 05:23 Quote
Ummm net tv is already here (well, at least in the US). PlayOn + Hulu/Netflix. Although the dvr the google is bringing to the table is nice.
Arj12 23rd May 2010, 00:23 Quote
Google seems to be expanding it's business and it's "products" immensily and very quickly for the last 2 years! I wonder what they will venture into next! I look forward to this, i just hope the quality of the videos are better than some current online players knocking about
Jehla 23rd May 2010, 07:19 Quote
I wonder if they will release the software to the public.
Mentai 26th May 2010, 11:31 Quote
Hmm I'm not so sure about this. My friends and I haven't watched tv in years (why would you use a system that requires controls your entertainment schedule based on programming times?). As such I haven't imagined myself using a tv without an htpc as it's input in, well, ever since I knew of the existence of a htpc. I suppose I'm not the target market though (and you never know, maybe piracy laws will eventually become so draconian I'll have to resort to conventional viewing measures once again. HA, who am I kidding, I would just stop watching tv).
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