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UPDATE Google Launches Broadband Internet on Your TV Service

Posted: 21st May, 2010 By: MarkJ
google tv ukInternet search giant Google has announced its Google TV service, which together with Sony, Logitech and Intel, will offer set-top-boxes (plus a remote control and wireless keyboard) that can interface with your existing broadband ISP connection to deliver internet content onto your television.

Making internet content accessible from your TV is nothing new. Plenty of modern televisions come with similar services built-in and some popular video game consoles (e.g. PS3) are also already heavily web-enabled. However most of these are restricted closed platforms, while Google TV is built on an open platform similar to Android and Chrome (website browser).

Salahuddin Choudhary, Google TV Product Manager, said:

"Imagine turning on the TV and getting all the channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day — including your favorite video, music and photo sites. We’re excited to announce that we’ve done just that.

Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.

Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. For example, already know the channel or program you want to watch? Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away.

If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most."

The Google TV system is expected to be integrated into new televisions, Blue-Ray players and offered as a standalone Set-Top-Box (STB) unit. USA stores can expect to see the first STB's towards the end of this year, although UK availability remains uncertain.

It will be interesting to see how this plays with the BBC's Project Canvas, an open broadband TV standard for set-top-box devices in the UK. Google has in the past called on Canvas to avoid restricting access to a few pre-determined re-purposed broadcast content platforms (i.e. they want its YouTube content to be displayed too). Too many STBs spoil the broth.

UPDATE 23rd May

Logitech expects the UK service to arrive in 2011, possibly.
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