Saying it will “change the
future of television,” Google rolled out Google TV — the internet giant’s
venture into web-TV integration.
The application, run by Google’s
Android operating system, lets users search for content from their television,
DVR and the web.
Even as sites like Google-owned
YouTube have emerged as viable entertainment options, the move is a nod to a
basic truth of leisure time: The estimated 4 billion television users worldwide
is still a much bigger customer base than those using the internet.
The platform will let users search
for content, from the name of a TV show to the name of a network, in much the
same way a Google search works. They’ll get results from TV and the web and be
able to watch either on their TV screen.
It also will have voice
recognition, letting users speak the name of a show or other content and have
it pop up on their screens.
Devices for Google TV will be sold
at Best Buy and on the market this fall, in time for the lucrative holiday
shopping season. The system will allow Android smartphone applications to be
displayed on television screens and such integration as being able to watch a
show on TV and a Twitter stream of people talking about that show at the same
A Google TV home screen will
let users organize their content, like shows they’ve recorded on their DVR, and
integration will let users view photos from such sites as Flickr and Picasa on
their TV screens.
In addition to Best Buy, other
partners include Sony, which will launch a line of TVs that optimize the Google
service, Intel, Logitech and DISH Network — which also will offer features
specifically for Google TV.
Developing for the system will be
open, a fact that let Google’s top brass take several shots at Apple’s iPad and
iPhone. They pointedly noted that Adobe’s Flash media player will be integrated
into the system’s Web browser.