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Summary:

Google has partnered with Sony, Intel and Logitech to develop a yet-unannounced product called Google TV. It will be based on Android and could be a dedicated set-top box or a software platform that could be deployed on Internet-connected TVs and similar devices.

Google has partnered with Sony, Intel and Logitech to develop a yet-unannounced product called Google TV, according to an article by New York Times technology writer Nick Bilton. Google TV will be based on Android, according to Bilton, and could come in the form of a dedicated set-top box or a software platform that could be deployed on Internet-connected TVs and similar devices, directly competing with solutions from Vudu, DivX and Boxee.

Details about Google TV are still scarce, as Bilton dind’t get any of the companies involved to go on the record. However, it looks like Google TV will be open to third-party app developers in much the same way the company’s Android operating system is today. From the article:

“The companies appear to be hiring for Android-related jobs. Intel, for example, has listed jobs for senior application engineers with Android programming experience who can help extend Intel’s technology ‘from PC screen to mobile screen and TV screen.’”

Google TV will apparently be based on Intel’s Atom processor, and the interface will essentially be based on a version of Chrome, which should open the door for web app developers as well as content platforms to get a foothold on the product. In fact, Bilton reports that a prototype set-top box built by Google is capable of playing back content from Hulu.com — a feature that could cause for some tension within the industry, as Hulu’s owners in the past have tried to block similar technology from Boxee.

Speculations about an Android-based TV product most recently surfaced when the Wall Street Journal reported that Google teamed up with DISH to test a new, Android-like software on the satellite provider’s set-top box. It’s unclear, however, if the two products are related.

Still, given the fact that many indicators point to Google gearing up for a TV platform launch, we’re interested to hear from you: What would you like to see on Google TV? Are there any specific Android apps that you’d think would work really well on the big screen? Anything missing from the Boxee Box that only Google could deliver? Or do you want to keep Google out of your living room altogether? Let us know in the comments!

Related content on GigaOm Pro: With TV Apps, Over-the-Top Video Gets New Backers (subscription required)

  1. Seems to me that Google Earth would be a must. Besides streaming web content, it would need to be able to stream media files from your computer, and if so, what media player would it utilize? If they really want to sell some players, they need to take Apple TV and put everything into it that everybody who has bought one is PO’d that they don’t have. This would also send Apple scurrying to update their current firmware.

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    1. I don’t think the Apple TV is powerful enough to do what everybody would want it to do …

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  2. I would like it to be easy to use and a one-stop destination. Ideally, they hook up with TV Guide so you only have to click on a program and it will record it for you and save it for your later viewing. That and enable you to subscribe to all new episodes of a series you like. All that and surfing the net. AND provide it over the internet so we don’t have to subscribe to cable or satellite TV.

    Yeah, yeah, I know I’m dreaming.

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    1. All you have to say is: Include all DVR functionality with a Web-Browser. We need some sort of integration with a Home Media Server. So I can store all of my music, pictures, and movies/DVD/Blu-Ray RIPs onto one set-top box. Most Importantly!! IT NEEDS TO HAVE A COOL, SLICK, VISUALLY STIMULATING USER INTERFACE!! With all of my DVD meta-data, Box images and backdrops!!

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  3. A product like Google TV could effectively span the gap between current set-ups and the inevitable fully-web-enabled TV. I’m really most excited about the potential for a truly intuitive media server GUI with powerful search/web surfing capabilities.

    This is even bigger news when considered along with Google’s plans to become in ISP in selected areas. Google ISP + Google TV would enable Google to offer fully integrated Web/WebTV services. Signing up for the ISP service could get you a free (or discounted) Google TV, much like how cable companies lend out the cable set-top box. Just a thought.

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  4. thatnerdinthecorner Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    I think what I would like to see is a radically different UI that bridges the usability gap seen in existing solutions for bringing the internet to the tv. Lets face it… the average TV remote is completely useless for browsing the web content on TV. Specifically I think I would like to see a voice + gesture recognition type interface like in microsoft’s project natal.

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    1. That’s actually a very interesting suggestion, given the progress Google has had with voice on Android. Just wondering: Will voice recognition work if the TV is turned all the way up?

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  5. [...] Post By Google News Click Here For The Entire Article Review Google Cash [...]

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  6. What would I want the Google box to do ?

    It needs to do a few things for me as a customer..but it should also trigger some new thinking at Google. A box that is ONLY meant to drive more traffic to Google properties is a failure. Google needs to think out-of-the-box literally to create a box that people would love to have – and not only because they get their daily dose of Google properties from it. Apart from that, if Sony and Intel are in bed with Google, then the box will be a compromise of interests at best and a tragedy otherwise.

    Nevertheless, if I could spec it, this is what it would look like.

    Firstly, it would need to be as easy to use as a normal TV / STB. So it should not be a PC in a different casing, combined with a QWERTY keyboard that looks like a remote.

    Next, it should behave like a normal box does – consuming as-little-as-needed power and only when it is ON. It shouldn’t need a fan.

    Next, it shouldn’t crash. So spare me the BSOD, or even worse, those BIOS errors.

    Next, it needs to benefit economically from Moore’s law – get cheaper over time. Note that Intel CPUs typically get more powerful, but hardly any cheaper.

    It should start up in less than 5 seconds, pipe my preferred content with no impeding ads, and from all sources I like – cable, antenna, satellite apart from my personal content on all my devices and all internet services of my preference.

    It should not throw up a messages such as “you need to install foobar ver x.y to view this content. Click OK to install. Click OK to trust this software. Click OK to search on Google what this error message means”.

    It should do Flash.

    It should do Skype.

    It should not monitor my usage.

    Alternately, the parents of this box might want to consider to do a much smaller subset of my wish-list, but do it really well.

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  7. This seems that Google is going to explore each and every aspect where this Internet giant can put up Ads and earn revenue. http://www.technoden.com/?p=627

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  8. Every feature that TiVo has.
    Ability to interconnect boxes in a household. (with gigabit ethernet and wireless)
    Ability push content from a any device to the box.
    QWERTY keyboard in the remote, like the new TiVo remotes.
    Obviously better search than TiVo, which is really only constrained by not having a keyboard.
    Storage. Storage. Storage.
    Skype
    RSS functionality like Miro
    Torrent Functionality

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  9. My initial impression is that Google TV is nto teevee at all, but simply a way to frame a problem for the masses. Step two is likely what is more interesting — a product that combines media into streams of communication sort of like a Wave TV Guide.

    Some of these ideas are actually shared in what we are working on for the education market. In this past week our model was brought down to a similar problem-solution level. The cool stuff is still out there though.

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  10. I just want the set top box to be an Internet TV tuner with a Wii-sized foot print.
    It’s gotta look good on a 20″ CRT TV.


    OK, I have an idea: integrate the box with an ATSC tuner and let the owner plug it into an monitor rather than a full blown HDTV, with the aforementioned quick startup time.

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