Announcing Google TV
This post will be updated: more details to follow (scroll down) -- http://www.google.com/tv -- coming Fall 2010!
We currently spend more time watching TV than we have ever done throughout history. Advertisers spend $70 billion dollars a year on TV advertising. There are over 4 billion TV viewers around the world -- and only 1 billion PC users!
TV just works. It gives you access to really cool stuff. It's pervasive -- you don't have to think about how it works. It has hardly evolved; it has basically been the same service. Today we are torn between PC and TV. Split loyalty -- they are both awesome.
Now, people have tried to bring the Web to the television before, but it's always been a closed system with limited numbers of apps and a cut-down cross-section of the actual Web.
The answer: Google TV -- the best of TV and the best of the Web. A new platform that will change the future of television.
The key is a new method of navigation: with Google TV you can search for the TV shows you want to watch. Out with the digital guide!
- Just like TV -- you will have a different remote control (Google says its working with some great manufacturers), but essentially it will be TV with a search box.
- Series results -- brings up a page that collates TV and Web content. Select a specific episode from Amazon on Demand or Hulu and it appears on your TV -- it's just a standard Web browser.
- Home screen -- looks like a standard Media Center type interface. Connects you to Netflix, Amazon. The page is customized to you and your viewing habits (a la Chrome)..
- Seamless Web/TV browsing -- bring up YouTube (we're going to need a keyboard in the living room though, unless you really want to type on a remote control...) -- with some kind of... personalized playlists thing. 'Create your own channels' -- sounds like YouTube on the TV.
- Picture in picture mode -- put a TV channel or video into the corner of your screen, and then go back to searching the Web! Ideal for following sports games, up-to-the-minute news and so on. American Idol while watching your Twitter stream is cited as an exciting prospect of this technology...
- Access to non-video, social content (Flickr, Picasa, Facebook...) -- why look at photos on your smartphone when you can look at them on your huge TV...? How about Flash games? E-commerce? (Yes, it definitely looks like you'll be keeping a keyboard in the living room!)
- Send links from your phone to your TV -- if your Android phone is bonded to the TV, you can easily send URLs straight to the TV.
- Real-time translation -- a delicious merge of your TV's closed captions and Google's translation engine. We are getting close to universal translation -- I'll be able to visit a foreign country and always have English subtitles available to me!
The Hardware and Software:
- Google TV is built on Android and Google Chrome with the Flash 10.1 plug-in -- no surprises there.
- Android apps -- they will work on Google TV. No changes to the code are necessary (a la iPhone/iPad). Twitter, Pandora... all on your TV. You can send apps from the Web to your TV.
- It's the same deal as previous Web/TV offerings -- you need some kind of set-top box. It could be integrated into your satellite, cable or DVD decoder box.
- You can use your Android phone as a remote control for Google TV! -- use voice recognition on your smartphone to pull up a TV channel. You can of course have multiple phones paired with the TV... no more sharing the remote!
- A new protocol -- IP Control Protocol will be made open and accessible. Developers will be able to make their own remote controllers.
- Developers -- stay tuned. An SDK is coming, with lots of guidance on how to make 'sweet TV apps'. Google TV will be open-sourced... in 2011!