What happens if the best of the Internet and television came together?
This is the question that search giant Google aims to answer as it launches Google TV, a new service that combines television programming with search capabilities and rich Web applications. The recent announcement by the company revealed that the service is developed in partnership with other technology companies, including Sony, Intel, and Logitech.
Google TV is being marketed as a new “entertainment hub” that lets viewers search channels, recorded TV shows, and websites – and watch television content using web-enabled sets or Google TV set-top boxes. Moreover, the service also allows users to browse the Web on television, including their favorite video, music, and photo sites.
The service is powered by Google’s own Android software and Chrome web browser. Users can conduct Internet searches using a drop-down box that appears at the top of the TV screen, with results from millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web.
Sony will provide the web-enabled televisions – which come with Intel chips – while Logitech will supply special remote controls and wireless keyboard units built specifically for Google TV. Set-top boxes, which will enable the web content to be routed to existing TV sets, are also going to be produced by Logitech. Android phones, meanwhile, can be used as controls for Google TV.
Pricing for the web-enabled TVs and the set-top boxes has not been disclosed, but Sony and Logitech did say that these products will be rolled out in the U.S. in time for this year’s holiday season. International release, meanwhile, is scheduled for next year. Other Google TV products will include video-on-demand offerings, courtesy of Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.
In its announcement Google also encouraged developers to start optimizing sites for Google TV. The company created a basic guide for designing websites for its Google TV service, so that after its launch developers can build their own applications and distribute these through the Android market.