Here comes Google TV

It’s been almost five months since Google introduced Google TV to the world at Google I/O. For those who haven’t yet heard of it, Google TV is a new way to think about TV: it’s a platform that combines your current TV programming and the open web into a single, seamless entertainment experience.

One of 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.

Since our announcement, we’ve been overwhelmed by interest from partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize and distribute their content in new ways. Most of these partner sites already work with Google TV, but many are choosing to further enhance their premium web content for viewing on the television. Today, we’re excited to announce several of these content partners.

  • Turner Broadcasting has been hard at work optimizing some of their most popular websites for viewing on Google TV, including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, available anytime through Google TV.
  • NBC Universal has collaborated with Google TV to bring CNBC Real-Time, an application that allows you to track your favorite stocks and access news feeds while enjoying the best financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.
  • HBO will bring access to hundreds of hours of programming to Google TV with HBO GO. Authenticated subscribers will soon be able to access all of their favorite HBO content on-demand in an enhanced website for Google TV.
  • NBA has built NBA Game Time, an application that lets you follow game scores in real-time and catch up on the latest highlights from your favorite team in HD.

In addition, we’ve partnered with some of the leading premium content providers to bring thousands of movie and TV titles, on-demand, directly to your television. Amazon Video On Demand offers access to over 75,000 titles for rental or purchase, and Netflix will offer the ability to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV shows, anytime, streaming directly to the TV.

We have also been working with some leading technology and media companies to optimize their content for Google TV, including news sites like The New York Times and USA Today; music sites like VEVO, Pandora and Napster; information networks like Twitter; and online networks like blip.tv. And with YouTube Leanback, we can offer the best experience for you to watch your favorite viral videos and personalized channels on the television.

You can get a sneak peek of some of these apps in the video below:

This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from more sites that are enhancing their web content for the television. If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your website for viewing on Google TV, please visit our developer page.

Today we also launched a new website that provides more information about these apps and all of the other great features of Google TV. And if you want to stay up to speed on the latest developments from the Google TV team, check out our new blog.

We’re really excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the platform and can’t wait for it to reach your living room. Devices powered by Google TV will launch this month, so look out for more information in the next few weeks from Sony on its Internet TV and Blu-Ray player, and Logitech on its companion box.

Update: Added links to partner announcements.

Posted by Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Developer Product Manager, Google TV

Google TV Announced at Google I/O conference 2010

Google TV is a new platform that aims to bring the Web to TVs. Google developed a custom Android version that runs Google Chrome and improves the TV viewing experience by allowing you to find TV programs, showing recommendations and integrating content from the Web.

“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,” explains Google.

Google’s demo from the Google I/O conference wasn’t very convincing. Google acknowledged that many other companies tried to create similar products without too much success. The explanation is probably that they were ahead of their time, but Google says that they were unsuccessful because they dumbed down the Web experience, they were closed and users had to choose between watching TV and browsing the Web.

“The project started 2½ years ago, with a vision of a walled garden of TV-optimized web services. But the landscape keeps shifting, particularly in the capabilities of mobile devices. The only solution big enough for the problem is to bring the whole web to your TV,” says Vincent Dureau, who is in charge of Google TV.

Google partnered with Sony, Intel and Logitech to add Google TV to “televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes”. The first Internet-enabled TV that runs Google’s software will be launched this fall by Sony and it promises to provide “richer internet access so you can browse the web just like you would from a computer.”

But why not connect your TV to a computer? Android is a great operating system for a mobile phone, but it doesn’t look very well on a big HDTV. Not all the Android applications are useful on a TV and those that are useful won’t take advantage on the huge screen estate of the TV. Google promises to introduce a Google TV SDK and some APIs for web applications, but that will happen next year.

Google TV has a lot of potential and I’m sure it could eventually become a great product. The software could make TV programs more interactive by detecting phone numbers, addresses or URLs, it could allow you to chat with a friend while watching the same TV show, it could create chat rooms for everyone who watches the same show, it could use visual search to show information about an object from the screen or it could translate a foreign-language movie.

If you already have an Android phone, you can use it as a remote control. Since the TV and the phone can run the same applications, you’ll be able to sign in using the same Google Account and synchronize your data. Favorite an YouTube video on a phone, watch it later on your TV and use it to generate a list of recommended TV shows.

Can we switch to the other box?

Google Announcing Google TV: TV meets web. Web meets TV.

If there’s one entertainment device that people know and love, it’s the television. In fact, 4 billion people across the world watch TV and the average American spends five hours per day in front of one*. Recently, however, an increasing amount of our entertainment experience is coming from our phones and computers. One reason is that these devices have something that the TV lacks: the web. With the web, finding and accessing interesting content is fast and often as easy as a search. But the web still lacks many of the great features and the high-quality viewing experience that the TV offers.

So that got us thinking…what if we helped people experience the best of TV and the best of the web in one seamless experience? 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.

Because Google TV is built on open platforms like Android and Google Chrome, these features are just a fraction of what Google TV can do. In our announcement today at Google I/O, we challenged web developers to start coming up with the next great web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience. Developers can start optimizing their websites for Google TV today. Soon after launch, we’ll release the Google TV SDK and web APIs for TV so that developers can build even richer applications and distribute them through Android Market. We’ve already started building strategic alliances with a number of companies — like Jinni.com and Rovi — at the leading edge of innovation in TV technology. Jinni.com is a next-generation TV application working to provide semantic search, personalized recommendation and social features for Google TV across all sources of premium content available to the user. Rovi is one of the world’s leading guide applications. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the ways developers will use this new platform.

We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. These devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide. You can sign up here to get updates on Google TV availability.

This is an incredibly exciting time — for TV watchers, for developers and for the entire TV ecosystem. By giving people the power to experience what they love on TV and on the web on a single screen, Google TV turns the living room into a new platform for innovation. We’re excited about what’s coming. We hope you are too.

*Nielsen, Three Screen Report, Fourth Quarter 2009

Update 2:26PM: Updated to include more information about other developers.

Posted by Salahuddin Choudhary