Google prepares to launch Google TV: The device that lets you watch television and surf the net
Google is preparing to enter the increasingly crowded internet TV market with its latest product Google TV.
Google TV will allow customers to access Facebook and watch films on YouTube in the comfort of their living rooms.
Consumers with HDTV sets will be able to plug into the technology simply by buying a set-top box. The TV is expected to go on sale in the U.S. this autumn before arriving in Britain next year. The price has not yet been fixed.
The list of participating television programmers announced yesterday by Google includes household staples such as TBS, TNT, CNN and HBO, which are all owned by Time Warner Inc.
The technology will offer features from the NBA, the financial news channel CNBC and popular internet video services operated by Amazon and Netflix.
Google said in an official blog post: ‘One of our goals with Google TV is to finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers.
‘By bringing Google Chrome and access to the entire Internet, you can easily navigate to thousands of websites to watch your favorite web videos, play Flash games, view photos, read movie reviews or chat with friends—all on the big screen.’
The Google TV options from Amazon’s digital video store and Netflix’s movie subscription service mirror features already available on an array of other devices that connect to televisions.
Twitter and several music sites, including Vevo, Pandora and Napster, have also designed features especially for Google TV.
Incoming: Google believes its technology will make it easier to surf the web while watching television on the same screen, at the same time enabling it to benefit from the advertising market
But the four major broadcast networks – CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox – still haven’t embraced Google TV, with the technology scheduled to debut later this month.
Documents posted on the internet indicate that flat-panel sets and other devices equipped with Google TV will go on sale on October 17, but the company has not confirmed that date.
In the blog post, Google said it is still in talks with a variety of unnamed parties and predicted more content partnerships will be cemented in the coming weeks.
‘We’re really excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the platform and can’t wait for it to reach your living room,’ wrote Ambarish Kenghe, a Google TV product manager.
Gaining the backing of the major broadcast networks and other powerful players is proving to be difficult because some executives fear Google TV could tip the balance of power to the internet’s most powerful company.
Google believes its technology will make it easier to surf the web while watching the television on the same big screen. If it succeeds it could also help the company achieve its goal of expanding its domination of the online ad market into television.
Even if the major TV networks don’t cooperate with Google TV, people using the technology should still be able to watch programming from those outlets through cable or satellite connections.