updated 06:40 pm EDT, Wed March 17, 2010
Android TV box helped by Intel, Logitech, Sony
Google's rumored Android-based TV box is real and has some of the world's largest electronics companies involved in making it a reality, a major leak has revealed tonight. Now titled Google TV, the project would see Sony produce the first hardware while Intel would supply Atom chips and help engineer the software. Logitech is also said involved by the NYT source and would make a remote with a keyboard.
Some extra details have also emerged for the software. Google TV would use Chrome for the web rather than Android's stock browser. Like Android, Chrome and Chrome OS, at least the core would be open-sourced and would encourage both users and those in the TV business to customize the OS. It would have a new interface and appears to support Flash, which would let it play Hulu and YouTube without separate native apps.
Because of the open platform, Sony wouldn't have an exclusive. The goal is to encourage apps and search in the living room much as Android has played a part in smartphones, the insider said. However, Sony would be the most ambitious and could have not only discrete hardware but even BRAVIA TVs with Google TV built-in.
The project doesn't have a set completion date and has only been in progress for several months, but the leak corroborates word that it was now being tested with Dish Network for its satellite TV service. Whether any other cable or satellite providers were interested wasn't mentioned.
Google's move would potentially set it not just against established set-top box makers like Scientific Atlanta and TiVo but also strictly Internet-oriented media hubs like the Apple TV and Roku Internet Player. With full app support, Google TV could not only access most web-based services but also get custom software tailored to particular experiences.