Google TV Gets Its Formal Unveiling

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SAN FRANCISCO — Google took the wraps off the future of its expanding product portfolio when it formally introduced a collaboration with Intel, Sony, Logitech, Rovi and others to develop and market Google TV-enabled products, which will be based on the Android software platform.

Planned devices include TVs, Blu-ray players and a set-top box that will bring Google TV capability to existing devices.

The open platform is said to integrate the Web with television using Flash-compatible hardware.

Google TV is scheduled to arrive in set-top boxes and televisions this fall, the company said.

Sony will sell Google TV-enabled HDTV’s and Blu-ray players while Logitech will sell a set-top box that connects to existing TV sets. Best Buy was named a launch partner for all three products.

In addition, Rovi said it is working on a version of its interactive program guide to run on the platform, and the Dish Network said it will offer a Google TV-powered one-click DVR recording feature on set-top boxes for its satellite TV service.

The system offers a powerful user interface that melds Web content with traditional TV programming delivered by cable and satellite-TV service providers.

In searching for specific TV shows viewers are presented with options available for that program and similar programs via traditional service providers or from online services such as Hulu, Amazon and Netflix.

By using Flash, viewers will have access to a wide range of Web video content, as well as games and streaming music sites such as Pandora.

Google said selections will be made via a single remote — expected to incorporate some form of keyboard or softkey system — which will be displayed by manufacturers in their finished products.

Google TV devices will also be capable of accepting input from Android based mobile phones. Search commands can be dictated into an Android phone and relayed to the Google TV device via Wi-Fi.

Video programs on the phones can also be sent to a Google TV for playback on a larger screen.

Like an Android phone, the Google TV devices will also support some nonphone- specific Android Apps such as Pandora music streaming, video games and other media.

Specific pricing and models have not been disclosed by the various manufacturer partners.


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