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Google TV Gives Apple TV a Run For its Money

Categories: Silicon Beach
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The wave of the TV watching future possibly came with the advent of TiVos and the ability to DVR your favorite shows, leaving you to come and go as you please. Or maybe it was through Hulu and YouTube, when television watching was transferred from the big screen to the computer screen. But now Google has teamed up with Intel, Logitech, and Sony to bring you the Google TV; watch out, Apple.

At Google's I/O Developer Conference last week an open platform that adds the power of the web to the television viewing experience was announced that will usher in a new range of devices for the living room. Intel, Sony, and Logitech, together with Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe, joined Google on stage to announce their support for Google TV.

Read more and watch Google's animated explanation of features after the jump.

The open platform is based on the Android platform, and runs the Google Chrome web browser, making searches across TV, the web, and Apps a breeze, and navigating content less like navigating a TV remote, and more like Googling video of your favorite TV shows.

This is a giant step up from Apple TV, which merely allows renting and buying HD movies and TV shows, iTunes extras, iTunes music, and internet radio. And Google TV's broad alliance with industry leaders will just launch the platform forward that much faster.

Sony plans to introduce "Sony Internet TV" (set to launch in Fall of 2010), and Logitech will introduce a companion box that brings Google TV to existing HDTV home entertainment systems, easily integrating HDTV technology with a set top box. But what's more interesting, still, is Logitech's Harmony remote control technology, which will include a controller that will combine the almighty remote control with a keyboard.

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 will be integrated directly into the Google Chrome browser, enabling TV viewers to experience rich Flash content including games, animations, videos, audio and so much more.

As if that weren't enough, Google announced a soon-to-be-released set of TV specific APIs for web applications, encouraging web developers to begin building unique web applications for use on television sets. Later this year Google will also release an updated Android SDK, which will support applications built for Google TV. Welcome to the next generation, state of the art TV-watching experience.


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