May 20, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
The average American watches television for five hours a day, the highest number that it’s ever been according to Google. That powers the $70-billion annual television advertising industry, which reaches 4 billion people – four times the amount of people on the PC.
So are you surprised that Google is moving into the television industry? Google Product Manager Rishi Chandra announced today that Google TV will be a new Android-based venture set to debut in Fall 2010.
Google TV is “Where TV meets web. Web meets TV.” It features optimization to spend less time searching, more time watching, gain more control, and have “much more than a TV.”
The concept is straightforward: search for all the information that you want and Google will find it. This is far beyond the old TV Guide search, however. If you look for 30 Rock, Google TV will return upcoming episodes of NBC’s hit comedy. If you want to watch news, it returns networks like MSNBC, CNN, etc.
There’s also “Series Results,” a search tool that finds both live network television and on-demand options on the web. Fans of ABC’s House can find content from Amazon, Hulu, Fox, and USA. There’s a seamless transition from Google TV to Amazon Video, which allows fans to watch full episodes of the cranky medical genius.
THE WEB ON TV
The web is always within reach since GoogleTV supports browsing the web. The homescreen shows Netflix queues, previously watched content, and a tab-based display of content. The most obvious feature is online video content. Not only is YouTube supported, but Google TV also imports video from direct content sources. Does your son hate everyone on Sesame Street except Elmo? (this is an actual example of Chandra’s own son) Search for ‘Elmo’ and you can get a bookmark of Sesame Street’s on-demand video clips starring Elmo.
GoogleTV also features a picture-in-picture mode in order to browse the web and still see what happens on-screen. While watching the Lakers beat up on the Suns, Chandra went to Yahoo! to see stats and results. Imagine being able to go to your fantasy sports page to see how your players are doing, without having to leave the live broadcast. Anyone who engages on Twitter can even simulcast live events with comments.
Now consider this: browsing photo’s on your television. The ability to access the web makes Google TV able to visit Flickr or Facebook and see all of their galleries. Google promises to make this new venture, “The most comprehensive, the most personalized, and the most accessible” television watch experience.
KEY FEATURES AND FACTS
- Sony will launch a full-line of integrated TV’s and BluRay players
- Logitech will launch a Companion box
- Intel will develop the chipset with Intel Atom processor
- DISH subscribers will be able to integrate DVR content
- BestBuy will sell the products directly
- Requires Android 2.1 or higher now, but Google says it will add older phone support in the future
- In early 2011, it will include the Android Market built-into the device
- Any Android app that doesn’t require phone-specific features will be able to run on TV (Pandora was shown in a demo). In the future, web apps will be visible via the television.
- Full Flash 10.1 and Chrome browser powers television’s web features
- Companion set-top boxes, Television sets, and Blu-Ray players will be supported
- Will work with your current television subscriptions using HDMI cable
- Built-in WiFi and Ethernet, and a DISH-network IP protocol for one-click recording schedule
- Strong processor for fast browsing, surround sound audio,
- All include keyboard, remote, and mouse
- Android phones can be paired over Wi-Fi to control TV. Voice search will be supported, enabling users to speak into the phone and have the television perform a search for content. In real-time. There will also be a feature that allows users to send content from the phone to the television. If you watch a YouTube video, send it to the television so the whole family can watch.
- Google TV will include an optimized version of Listen renamed Google Listen + Watch. This will include video podcasts.
- GoogleTV will include automatic translation into other languages