Watch Google TV
This week, Google launched its latest plot to conquer the world—this time, through our TVs.
The latest HD televisions, billed as Smart TVs, work much like our favorite smartphones – complete with apps and advanced Internet browsers. Sony is the first to sell these TVs with the pre-installed Google platform.
For those unwilling to buy a new TV just to add Google’s apps and Internet functions, Logitech is releasing a box that gives almost any HDTV Google functionality.
So, with equipment in place, users can expect a brand-new TV watching experience. Google TV connects a DVR, cable connection and TV, giving service much like we expect from Tivo; that is, we find our favorite shows quickly, then we set them to record whenever they air. Recorded shows are organized in an easily accessible list for viewing later.
Besides adding extra DVR features, Google TV allows users to surf the Web for content. Watching videos on YouTube or renting movies from Blockbuster is quick and easy, with no trip to the video store required.
Android phone users can control Google TV directly from their phones. The phone becomes a remote control for exploring all of the Google features.
Google TV brings back an idea from the late 80s: picture-in-picture screens. Users can surf the Internet while watching a miniature version of their favorite TV show in the bottom right corner.
Google TV also works with apps—just like our smartphones. Not many apps will be available at product launch, but a lot of companies are developing them for release at the beginning of next year.
So, what can we expect to pay for all of these Google enhancements to our TV watching? Google has not released that information, but industry experts are guessing the Logitech box will cost around $300. Carrier support is questionable at this point—meaning, Google TV may not be available to everyone.
Google TV is expected to launch during the chaotic fall 2010 shopping season.
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LAST UPDATED 10/8/2010