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Google eyes its next screen: TV

The New York Times has a fascinating story about Google's newest venture into software development. With partners Intel and Sony, it wants to bring Web browsing and applications to your television:

The partners envision technology that will make it as easy for TV users to navigate Web applications, like the Twitter social network and the Picasa photo site, as it is to change the channel. ... Google intends to open its TV platform, which is based on its Android operating system for smartphones, to software developers. The company hopes the move will spur the same outpouring of creativity that consumers have seen in applications for cellphones.

The NYT piece goes on to explain that the three companies have recruited Logitech to design and build keyboard-equipped remote controls and that devices running this software might ship by this summer. Google's TV software would include a version of its Chrome browser--which, considering that Android is already on the way to supporting Adobe's Flash video software--strongly suggests that the story's mention of watching TV shows on the Hulu site isn't a mistake.

That, in turn, may cause a few heads to explode in the boardrooms of the TV networks that have foolishly insisted Hulu wall itself off from consumer electronics devices.

Google isn't the only company looking to bring more Web content to TVs. D-Link's upcoming Boxee Box, for example, aims to bring that simple media-browsing interface to HDTVs when it ships later this year. TiVo's new TiVo Premiere models connect to a wider variety of online audio and video sources and run Flash themselves; that last feature alone suggests that many more sites could become available through these digital video recorders.

And a piece at TechCrunch wonders if Google's move will finally persuade Apple to build meaningful Web-media software into its closed, largely abandoned Apple TV--on the theory that Apple hates Google more than it hates putting any serious effort into this neglected media receiver.

This could be an interesting year to shop for a new HDTV. Is Internet video capability among your own shopping requirements? Does the prospect of better access through Google software change your mind on that issue?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 18, 2010; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  TV , Video  
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Comments

I would much rather buy a basic PC or Mac Mini, connect it to my TV, and be able to watch anything on the net that I want, rather than the limited offerings that Google -- or Apple, or anyone else -- tells me I should be satisfied with. Needing one box for Boxee, another service for Hulu, and something else for the iTunes store seems silly.

Posted by: terayon6061 | March 18, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I concur 1000% with what terayon6061 just said. I use a basic PC hooked to my large screen HDTV. The PC is hidden in a cabinet behind the TV screen so that it blends in with the decor of the living room. I then use a wireless mouse and keyboard to control everything from my couch. People complain about reading the "tiny,small buttons" from across the room. You can tinker with the screen resolution and magnification levels of your display and probably read those tiny buttons from over a hundred feet away if you had to. If your living room is bigger than that then just have your butler change the channels for you.

Posted by: jimsandy1 | March 18, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. Just more of the same "gate keeping" nonsense. Apparently Google has forgotten its roots and run out of truly original ideas.

Posted by: virtualmonk | March 18, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Instead of YET ANOTHER remote control (with a keyboard, even) lying around, why not have Bluetooth-enabled Android phones act as a remote control? Might move a few more phones that way, too.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | March 18, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I think this will come down to being just another set top box, this time with Android software. The issue of studios, networks and cable providers not making content available will not be resolved.

Posted by: query0 | March 19, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Kind of like WebTV?

Posted by: -bwg | March 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Google Latitude + Google Ocean = Real-time Fishing LBS Contents

Have you heard about Real-time Fishing LBS Contents? We have proposed this Service Model to Google over 4 years ago. Real-time Fishing LBS Contents is Location Based Service for IPTV, WiMAX, Mobile. This Service Model was created in 2002 by I&IWorld. I&IWorld's located in South Korea. As you know, there're many people enjoy fishing in the world(about 5 hundred million). I&IWorld's Real-time Fishing LBS Contents is like these.

*Main Functions*
1.The underwater topography and 3D views with fishing spots
2.Real-time fishing points tracing by GPS and angling direction guide
3.Service the real-time fishing condition about fishing place(weather, water temp, depth etc)
4.Angler Social network(such as Second Life)

Everyone knows that Google motto is, 'Don't be evil.' Is it all right? Visit http://www.koreacontent.org/weben/index.jsp, and type 'Real-time Fishing LBS Contents'. Search http://www.koreacontent.org/co/i/iiworld/index.html. If you need more information, please send your email address.

Posted by: iiwmaster | March 22, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

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