Rumors, whispers, and snippets of info regarding Google TV have been floating around for a few months now.
But Thursday at Google I/O 2010, the company made the big announcement of Google TV, while Sony and Logitech followed suit with the first Google TV products. Dish Network also said it will offer a Google TV-powered DVR recording feature on set-top boxes.
Devices for Google TV will be sold at Best Buy.
Roughly two out of three people watch TV. So it’s no surprise Google wants a piece of that pie. “Video should be consumed on the biggest, best, and brightest screen in your house, and that’s the TV,” says Google.
So how do they plan to bring the web to the TV without compromising video or content? A search-driven experience centered around discovery and customization. Media aggregation helps as well, with Hulu logos being thrown around like candy, which might be the most intriguing aspect of the whole ordeal.
All of this is going to be based on Intel’s CE4100 Atom processor running a version of the Android OS, Chrome browser, and Flash 10.1. Devices will have a WiFi network connection, HDMI, and QWERTY input option along with standard remote controls.
Sony Internet TV
Sony will launch its Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray players with Google TV in the fall of 2010. Models have yet to be announced.
Sony chairman, president and CEO Howard Stringer says:
“I am delighted to announce the unique alignment of Google’s rapidly growing, open source Android platform with Sony’s unparalleled expertise in the field of TV design and technology. The addition of ‘Sony Internet TV’ will further bolster Sony’s comprehensive TV lineup and will fuse new levels of enjoyment and interactivity into the TV experience.”
Logitech Google TV Companion Box
Logitech will introduce a Google TV Companion Box. This settop box will bring Google TV to anyone not looking for a new TV or Blu-ray player containing Google TV.
The most intriguing aspects of the Companion Box are the planned QWERTY Harmony remote (still under development) and Harmony app for iPhone/iPod Touch and Android devices. The Companion Box also has an IR blaster that gives it all the powers of the Harmony 900. Price and release date weren’t announced.
Logitech president and CEO Gerald Quindlen says:
“We committed to Google TV early on because it aligns with our strategy to support open platforms that enable new immersive experiences in the digital living room. While Google TV enables seamless discovery of all your content, Logitech enables seamless control over how you experience that content. We look forward to continued collaboration with Google and the developer community to create new Google TV experiences that have yet to be imagined.”
Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.
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