Google TV Launch This Year

Google TV service is going to launch in this autumm in beta version and Samsung is considering Android on their TV……

Google will launch its Google TV service, which it intends will bring the web to TV screens, in the US this autumn and around the world next year, its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said today.In its sights will be a slice of the £117bn global TV advertising market – which it will want to add to its online advertising revenues, which totalled $22.9bn (£14.94bn) in 2009.

The announcement, just a week after Apple’s chief executive, Steve Jobs, unveiled a miniaturised version of his Apple TV, which lets people rent films and TV shows, and stream content from YouTube, shows that the television set has become the new battleground for the two companies, which are also competing for market share in the smartphone and tablet computer markets.

On the latter topic, Schmidt told the closing session of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin that Google will announce partnerships later this year with computer companies making tablet computers rivalling Apple’s iPad, and that they will use Google’s new Chrome operating system for computers rather than its Android product, which has been used so far on smartphones and a slew of tablet computers announced at the IFA show.

Schmidt said the Google TV service, which would allow full internet browsing via the television, would be free, and that Google would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers.But Google does not envisage becoming a programme producer in its own right, as that does not fit its model – which is to use other people’s content rather than to create its own. The only content that Google produces itself is Street View, which has been the source of a number of privacy complaints in various countries.

Google TV will consist of software written by Google embedded into hardware made by other companies: in the US, Schmidt said, it will launch on three products – an HDTV set and a Blu-ray player from Sony, and a set-top box from Logitech. Google will also run a marketplace for small apps to run on Google TV. The content will use Adobe’s Flash Player, used on video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Demonstrations of the TV at the show suggested that it will look like a simplified computer interface, with widgets offering information about the weather, time and calendar, but also with links to web browsers, Facebook, email and YouTube.

Finally, Maps on your plasma! Unfortunately Samsung’s plans are far less certain, with company President Yoon Boo Keun offering little more than a “[w]e will have to see, but we are reviewing,” when asked whether the OS will make a suitable platform for couch potatoes the world o’er. According to Yoon, about half of the company’s 3-D TVs rock web browsers, a figure that will only increase over the next couple years. We only hope that if they do go with Android, the implementation is better than that of some of their handsets.

However, there is still doubt about how easy it will be to integrate content intended for viewing on a computer with that for a TV set. Google’s own guide for developers says that “all input devices for Google TV will have QWERTY keyboards” but adds that “users needs interactions that are fast and easy to do – at a distance, with one hand, in the dark.” It also hints that people may be able to control the screen via a mouse, but admits that “mouse control is difficult” on a TV set that is on the other side of the room from the user.


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