Google has announced Google TV today, a new offering set to roll out in the fall of this year designed to integrate the television and Web experience.
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.
Built on Chrome and Android, Google is opening up the Google TV platform to developers to allow them to create new applications. In addition, existing Android applications not requiring phone capabilities will be able to run directly on the Google TV platform.
From a hardware perspective, Google has partnered with Intel, which is providing its Atom processor to power the Google TV offerings. Google TV will initially be offered as a standalone box from Logitech, as well as integrated directly into Sony TVs and Blu-ray players. Google has also partnered with Best Buy for distribution and with DISH Network to provide one-click integration between Google TV and the satellite provider’s DVR offerings.
Google TV has been seen as a significant competitor to Apple’s set-top box known as Apple TV. Apple has long regarded Apple TV as a “hobby”, offering a somewhat limited feature set serving as a hub for music, video, and photo content, as well as access to the company’s iTunes Store.