What is Google TV?

Sony's Google TV demonstration

Google TV is coming soon to the US in the next month or so, and sometime next year to the rest of the world. It will either be built directly into your TV, or accessible by a set-top box device. So…

What is Google TV?

This 2 minute video provides a good overview of what Google TV is, how it will work, what you can see and do, and what devices you’ll need.

It’s been envisioned for some time now that the TV will become not only the home entertainment hub, but also increasingly a home information hub. To some extent this is already happening, but Google TV will surely greatly accelerate the centralisation.

Regarding Google’s role in this new service, “We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt told journalists after a keynote speech to the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin.

As the video shows, Google TV is a digital video recorder on steroids, and will break down the divide between TV content and computer/internet content. Taking a wider view than simply the watching, interacting with and making content, I predict electronic commerce will grow very large, very quickly. All those online stores getting into the world’s living rooms is going to introduce a lot of new customers to e-commerce.

Sony's Google TVSony was part of the Google TV announcement back in May, and showed off its Google TV at the recent IFA consumer tech show in Germany. Samsung are also believed to be talking to Google about the inclusion of Google TV within its devices. Logitech were also part of the initial clutch of companies at the Google TV launch, and it’s expected that its Logitech Revue box will be released within the next two weeks. I’d expect the additional external box will be very much an interim solution, being built-into devices you want, rather than acquiring a box that has the sole task of allowing Google TV access.

So yes, Australia will watch with envy while we wait for Google TV. But it’s definitely coming, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about Google TV.

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