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An In-Depth Look at the Google TV Interface

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Google TV (s GOOG) will include a podcast directory, giving users the ability to subscribe to shows and have future episodes show up in the same list as their DVR recordings. That’s one of the takeaways of an in-depth look at the Google TV interface, courtesy of the fine folks over at (hat tip to Engadget).

StuffWeLike recorded a video of Google showing off its upcoming TV platform in concert with Dish (s DISH) at Comiccon, and the video features a detailed description of a number of features, including the previously demoed universal search capabilities, YouTube integration, a few early apps and a central element called Google Queue.

Check out the entire video embedded below, but here are some screen grabs of some of the highlights:

Universal Search across TV and video content, with the ability to extend the search to web pages as well.

Bookmarked websites.

YouTube integration. This doesn’t seem to be based on YouTube’s Leanback site yet, and the whole integration seemed a little half-baked. When selecting a YouTube video from search results, Google TV simply opened that video’s web page, and the person running the demo had to manually switch to a HD video resolution as well as full-screen mode.

Google Queue lists all the content available for playback, including podcasts and DVR recordings.

Users can manage their queue with content-based or date-based filters.

Part of queue is a podcast directory that offers access to audio and video podcasts from various genres.

This is the show page of the podcast directory, which offers direct access to the latest episode as well as options to browse previous episodes, or subscribe to the entire show, after which new episodes will show up in the queue automatically.

A few final thoughts: The focus on podcasts and other types of web content is definitely good news for web video makers, and it looks like Google TV could actually make watching these types as shows just as easy, if not easier, than regular TV. However, there seems to be a lack of apps, and one really has to wonder why YouTube isn’t better integrated.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: Google Takes the Open Battle to Apple on Multiple Fronts (subscription required)

24 Responses to “An In-Depth Look at the Google TV Interface”

  1. rohitsift

    and why would i want a consumer entertainment/media product from Google? i’d rather wait and see what Apple comes out with — dont trust google to get it right for the likes of us nongeeks.

  2. Chris K

    Looks like alot of meh to me.

    I don’t have faith in this transition from laptop to big screen TV via GTV. Looks messy. Don’t really care to wade through Google search results on my TV. Unlike using Google on the computer when I search for a show I already know the name of the show. I just want to find out when it is on and watch it or record it, etc.

    I don’t want 20 search results and to see 10 ads.

    Really what I want is a better on -screen TV Guide. One that only shows channels that I subscribe too and takes off ones I never watch. With just slightly better search than the Tivo or cable dvr but don’t need the power of Google for that.

    Rumored itV at $99 with iOS, streaming from pc and apps sounds more promising as long as they don’t shut out Netflix, Amazon On-Demand, etc.

  3. I’d like to know for sure, will it support BitTorrent, BitTorrent RSS feeds (automatically download new torrents when their links are added to the RSS), live p2p streaming such as sopcast, pplive, stream torrent. Then also I would like to know will the Google TV playback all video codecs such as DivX, XviD, H264 MKV high profile, Mpeg2, AC3, Mp3, and all these other codecs at up to 1080p and at full bitrates?

    I’m pretty sure Google TV boxes will support this. And that there is no way Google or anyone else is going to block the use of certain apps in Google TV, no way they can block BitTorrent or other p2p activity.

    In which case, Google TV is going to be the best box for movie and tv piracy that has ever been released. How this is a good thing is another discussion.

    • Google is publicly backing away from BitTorrent support in GTV due to the negative reaction of the broadcast networks and movie studios.

      Simply put, there is no way any of the major content studios will support it in any way if BitTorrent is allowed. They will also, most likely, require Google to enforce some kind of controls on root access, including bricking, to prevent it from taking hold. You can also expect support for output controls to prevent recording to files of any content that the studios don’t want you to record. And remember, the studios have deep pockets and contribute big money to Congress. They know how to get laws passed.

      Without studio supports, a GoogleTV would be little more than a big screen computer. And you have that now.

      This article provides some more insight on studio perspectives:,0,785196.story

  4. The lack of apps is only until they release access to the Android market, or until someone gains root access, then they will simply be pushed to the TV. As far as the youtube support is concerned they have already released and presumably this will be more integrated into the GoogleTV experience as the product is actually released. My only question/worry at this point is whether or not I will be able to stream networked media to the device, because that would equal some epic win.

  5. @maximus If you look at the specs needed to run Android you will see that it will take the equivalent of a smartphone processor and memory. The price for the hardware alone would be about another $50-$100 per device and that’s a lot of money for the manufacturers. My understanding is that Yahoo Widgets can run on the current TV hardware. I’m going by what TVs Yahoo Widgets are on and it looks like they can run on just about any device without any extra hardware. It’s going to be difficult for manufacturers to justify spending the extra $$ on TVs when they are only making $50-$100 per device IMHO. GoogleTV will only be on high end devices while Yahoo Widgets and Netflix will be available from low-end to high-end.

  6. maximus

    Does anyone have an estimate of the impact the electronics to support GoogleTV will have on the cost and price of televisions in which it is integrated? I would be interested in the relative cost/price impact of Yahoo Widgets, native NetFlix and GoogleTV from the TV manufacturer perspective.