Back in May, Google announced Google TV, a new platform that combines the goodness of your TV with the web—all of it. Before you try to scoop up what could be the couch potato’s best buddy, there are a few things you should know about Google TV.
1: How is it different? Currently, there are several manufacturers selling HDTVs with branded web apps. Panasonic has VIERA Cast, LG has NetCast, Samsung has Samsung Apps, and so on. While all of those offer additional entertainment from Netflix, Pandora, VUDU, YouTube, and more, they are still limited in how and what they display. That’s where Google TV should shine. Using Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player 10.1, you can access anything on the web and have it be optimized for TV viewing. However, a lot of content will still be app-based. The company says that Google TV will come preloaded with apps for Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and Gallery.
2: How do you get it? Google TV will feature apps, just like your smartphone. While we should expect Google TV to be built into future TVs, if you want it now, you’ll need a box like Logitech’s Revue. At present, they are the only company that’s announced a Google TV set-top box. This product will cost $299. [Editors note: After press time, Sony announced its upcoming Sony Internet TV line, which includes four Google TV-enhanced HDTVS and one Blu-ray player.]
3: When can you get it? Don’t jump into the car just yet. Google has not released an “official” start date for Google TV. However, the Logitech product is expected to ship by the end of October 2010.
4: How do you control it? Logitech’s Revue does come with its own keyboard, with other accessories available. However, you can also use an Android phone or iPhone to control Google TV. These methods also allow voice control. Both could get interesting (or scary!) with multiple phones and viewers.
5: Fling what now? Another unique Google TV feature is “flinging.” If you find a killer photo, video or website on your phone and want to share it with everyone, you can “fling” it from your phone to your TV, at the touch of a button.
For more information on Google TV, check out the official Google TV website.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.