Leading industry players announced the development of Google TV — an open platform that adds the power of the web to the television viewing experience, ushering in a new category of devices for the living room. Intel, Sony, and Logitech, together with Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe, joined Google to announce their support for Google TV.
With Google TV, consumers will now be able to search and watch an expanded universe of content available from a variety of sources including TV providers, the web, their personal content libraries, and mobile applications.
Google TV is based on the Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser. Users can access all of their usual TV channels as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications, including Adobe Flash based content – all from the comfort of their own living room and with the same simplicity as browsing the web.
When coupled with the Intel Atom processor CE4100, Intel’s latest system-on-a-chip designed specifically for consumer electronics, the new platform will offer home theatre quality A/V performance. Sony and Logitech said they would be delivering products based on the new Intel Atom processor and running Google TV later this year. While Google TV is designed to work with any TV operator, at launch the user experience will be fully optimized when paired with DISH Network.
Google TV expands video choice from the hundreds of channels available today through a pay TV provider to the vast storehouse of video content available through the web and streaming videos. The Google TV experience is complemented by the ability to watch streaming video from leading content platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and YouTube. Google TV will also have the capability to run apps from the Android Market.
To navigate the array of content that will now be available through a single device and on a single screen, Google TV introduces an integrated search experience to help viewers easily find relevant content across over-the-air and pay-TV channel listings, DVR, and the Internet, as well as a picture-in-picture layout to access multiple windows simultaneously. Google TV also features an innovative home screen to help viewers quickly organize their favorite content and personalize their TV viewing experience. Some of these features are only available with advanced integration from DISH Network.
Charlie Ergen, Chairman, President and CEO of DISH Network, said, “Google TV marks the next evolution in television, and we are excited to be the first to partner with Google to bring this experience to our customers. Only DISH Network Google TV customers will be able to enjoy a unified search across TV, DVR and web; easily find related content; and manage their entire TV viewing experience. Additionally, the advanced integration will allow developers to create new and exciting applications to enrich the TV viewing experience.”
Sony announced plans to introduce “Sony Internet TV,” the World’s first TV lineup incorporating the Google TV platform. The first models are planned to be introduced in the U.S. market this fall with the lineup featuring both a standalone TV model and set top box-type unit incorporating a Blu-ray Disc drive.
Said Howard Stringer, Sony CEO: “I am delighted to announce the unique alignment of Google’s rapidly growing, open source Android platform with Sony’s unparalleled expertise in the field of TV design and technology. The addition of ‘Sony Internet TV’ will further bolster Sony’s comprehensive TV lineup and will fuse new levels of enjoyment and interactivity into the TV experience.”
Logitech will introduce a companion box that brings Google TV to existing HDTV home entertainment systems, easily integrating with any brand of HDTV and set-top box. The companion box will incorporate Logitech’s Harmony remote control technology, and will include a controller that combines keyboard and remote control capabilities. The company also has plans to introduce an HDTV camera and video chat for Google TV, along with additional choices for navigation and control, including apps to turn a smart phone into an advanced controller for Google TV and home-entertainment systems.
Best Buy will bring their retail experience and consumer expertise to the project, with Google TV devices being sold at Best Buy locations nationwide later this year. Google also plans to open source the Google TV platform to help spur innovation in the industry and so that other developers can benefit from the project. The long term goal is to collaborate with the entire developer community to help drive entertainment in the living room forward and to introduce the next generation of TV-watching experience.
For more info: http://www.google.com/tv/
RBR-TVBR observation: This is great for the consumer, but not so good for the established TV networks. You want to talk about viewer fragmentation: this may really move that needle into the red. On the other hand, there will be that many more opportunities for advertisers to micro-target their audiences.