Google, Other Industry Leaders Announce Google TV

  • Best Buy
  • DISH Network
  • Google
  • Intel
  • Logitech
  • Online Video
  • Sony
  • Video
  • Web-to-TV
SAN FRANCISCO — A distinguished lineup from the consumer electronics industry — Intel, Sony, Logitech,  Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe — announced their support for Google TV, an open Web-to-TV platform that is expected to create a new category of devices for the living room. Google TV is based on the Android platform and runs the Google Chrome Web browser.

With Google TV, consumers will be able to search and watch content  from TV providers, the Web (including Flash content), their personal content libraries and mobile applications. Streaming video from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube (of course) and other Internet video providers will be supported, as will apps from the Android Market. To help navigate all this content, Google TV provides an integrated search function and a picture-in-picture layout. A home screen will help viewers organize their content and personalize their TV viewing experience. (At present, some features are available only with DISH Network, but eventually Google TV will work with all TV operators.)

Research firm Strategy Analytics notes that while Google TV is not the industry’s first attempt to bring Internet content to the television, past attempts have met with lackluster results. Strategy Analytics says Google TV may provide a missing link in the over-the-top ecosystem, due to  the strength and importance of the partnerships with Sony, Intel, and Logitech.

Support From Partners

The new Intel Atom processor CE4100 will enable the platform to offer home theatre-quality A/V performance. Sony and Logitech said they would deliver products based on the new Intel Atom processor and running Google TV later this year.

Sony will introduce devices incorporating the Google TV platform beginning this fall. Sony's lineup will include both a stand-alone TV and a set-top box unit incorporating a Blu-ray Disc drive.

Logitech will introduce a companion box that brings Google TV to existing HDTV home entertainment systems, integrating with any brand of HDTV and set-top box. The box will incorporate Logitech’s Harmony remote control technology and will include a controller that combines keyboard and remote control capabilities. The company also plans to introduce an HDTV camera and video chat for Google TV, along with apps to turn a smart phone into an advanced controller for Google TV and home-entertainment systems.

DISH Network has worked with Google for more than a year on a joint trial with 400-plus beta users. Feedback from the trial helped the companies optimize the Google TV experience to seamlessly integrate traditional TV, DVR and Web content.

Retail partner Best Buy will sell Google TV devices  nationwide later this year and support them with its Geek Squad Agents. Finally, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 will be integrated directly into the Google Chrome browser on Google TV, so viewers can access the millions of games, animations, applications, videos and audio files based on Flash.

Opportunity for Developers

Developers will have an opportunity to shape the future of the platform, Google says. The company will shortly release TV-specific APIs allowing developers to build TV-based Web applications. Later this year, Google will also update its Android SDK to support applications built for Google TV. Google plans to open-source the Google TV platform; it says its long-term goal is to "collaborate with the entire developer community to help drive entertainment in the living room forward and to introduce the next generation of TV-watching experience."


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