Tech Report - Google TV preview

Although it will be several more weeks before Google TV is commercially available, the Silicon Valley search giant yesterday launched a web site which gives everyone a peak at what we can expect.

As we suggested in an earlier post, Google TV might just be the living room revolution that we have been waiting for. Rather than trying to force TV entertainment into a computer environment, Google TV takes the opposite approach, capturing everything we like about the static and mobile web experience and incorporating it into the TV.

Under the tag line “Your TV just got smarter”, the web site lists all the features that Google TV will deliver.

  • The web as a separate TV channel. With Google TV you can watch your favorite web videos, view photos, play games, chat with friends, and do everything else you are accustomed to doing online right there on your TV. Google suggests that many of the world’s best web sites are being adapted for better TV viewing, providing examples through a web page called Spotlight.
  • A new world of apps for your TV. Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Napster, and Amazon Video On Demand. Starting next year, apps from Android Market will also work on Google TV.
  • Watch and browse simultaneously. With Google TV, you can browse the web or open an app and watch TV at the same time. It will be just like picture-in-picture mode, but with the web and TV.
  • Your TV gets a homepage. Google TV will allow you to create your own home page for your TV, listing your favorite channels, apps and podcasts. It will be totally customizable, so you can change your preferences at any time.
  • Your phone is your remote. If you have an Android phone or an iPhone, it can be used to control your Google TV instead of a remote. You will also be able to use voice commands.
  • Fling a video to your television. If you find a great web site, app, or video on your phone, you will be able to “Fling” it to your TV with a press of a button.
  • The ultimate picture frame. With Google TV, you can stream photos from Picasa, Flickr and every other photo-sharing site.

There will be two ways to get Google TV when it’s available this fall – through a standalone “smart TV”, or by purchasing a separate box that can be used with your existing TV. As an example of a standalone TV, the Google TV web site is currently promoting the Sony Internet TV, although final specs and pricing are not yet available.

As previously reported, the Google TV box will be an external device that will connect to your TV through an HDMI port. The cost of the box is also yet to be announced, although we may know more this week when Logitech, one of Google TV’s hardware partners, is set to unveil its line-up of Google TV devices.

Comment by Jennifer/Connect with your Teens, posted 10/5/2010, 5:10 PM:

I think that we are going to see more change in the way we watch television in the next 5 years then we have since the TV was invented.
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