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)