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Google brings Chrome, Android to TVs and set-top boxes

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Thu May 20, 2010

Google search bar available directly on-screen

Google has introduced its latest project, Google TV, which aims to bring web features to TVs and set-top boxes. The new platform is based on the company's existing technologies such as Android and Chrome, with a focus on integrating advanced search functionality. Users will be able to control the system using their existing remotes or special "optimized remote controls" dedicated to Google TV.

Although the platform provides the same basic functionality as that of existing web-connected TVs and set-top boxes, Google is attempting to make the switch between web and TV a seamless experience. The Google search bar would be available as an overlay over the TV screen while watching standard broadcasts, rather than requiring users to exit their shows before accessing web content. Picture-in-picture can be used to watch TV when viewing the full-screen Google TV interface.

Google TV offers a unified search, connecting users to web results alongside listings found in the TV guide. DVR integration would even enable recording queues to be managed from the search box. Potential content includes Amazon, Fox, and Hulu websites, along with other services such as Netflix and YouTube.

Manufacturers are still working on integrating Google TV into televisions and other devices such as Blu-ray players. The systems are expected to have fast CPUs, a DSP for decoding, and custom remotes with keyboards for quickly typing text.

Google suggests that its limited examples are merely "scratching the surface" of the potential capabilities. Developers will be able to create a wide range of applications dedicated for the system, utilizing the same framework as apps web-based apps or content for Android. Like Android Market for mobile phones, users will be able to browse apps from a desktop browser and push downloads directly to Google TV-enabled devices.

Google is currently posting guidelines for TV-optimized websites. The SDK and other features are expected to be available following a public launch. Best Buy will help sell the first devices, including Sony products and Logitech boxes expected as early as the fall.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    comment title

    why not huh?

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009


    Sounds awesome and impressive but...

    I'll wait until I see it properly working altogether seamlessly and hear an actual PRICE before I make a judgment.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Maybe this is why Apple's delayed any new AppleTV models. They're waiting to see what Google's doing and copying them!

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999



    I want to see this OS on two devices, my Comcast DVR, and my PS3/network-connected Bluray player. A case could also be made for having it on my amp, which routes all the devices to my TV, but I'd guess that the DVR/cable/sat box and BluRay players will be the biggest market for this. The DVR because it has access to the channel guide and can do the advanced searches for content integrated with the recording functionality, and the PS3/BluRay player because it has internet access (the amp, not so much). The TV itself is totally superfluous however; that's just a monitor for the other devices.

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