As with any exciting new technology, it isn’t always clear what it actually does. The goal of Google TV is to turn television and web into a seamless experience, giving you access to online content and videos from the comfort of your living room.
Google puts it this way; the traditional way to watch a television show is to wait for it to air on a network, meaning you change your schedule to match that of the show you want to watch. The internet breaks that barrier, allowing you to watch shows whenever you feel like through outlets like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
With Google TV, you can watch online content out of the confined space of your computer’s monitor and instead play it on your TV – together with standard TV content.
Google TV will include a powerful search engine so you can easily find the shows you’re looking for without browsing through lists and guides. When you find a show you want to watch or subscribe to, you can quickly add it to your home screen which makes it just like a traditional TV channel. Google TV merges content from sources like Netflix, YouTube, sports websites, and many other sources along with your traditional television content, so everything is available in one central location.
A full version of Google’s Chrome browser will also be included with Google TV, so you can browse the internet just like you would on your computer. You’ll also have access to your photos and web applications like Pandora.
This is exciting news for Android fans: Google TV will include the Android Market so you can download and install Android apps right to your television. Beyond that, you can use your Android phone as the remote control for your TV, including voice search. How cool is that !
Popular Android applications like Google Listen will be updated to provide many more features for Google TV. The best part about including the Android Market is that new features will constantly be added to your TV, as we’ve seen with Android phones.
Interestingly, Google has stated that the Google TV software will become fully open-source in 2011.
Multitasking is a big deal for most people, and Google TV will not disappoint. With this software, you’ll be able to watch a TV show in the corner of your screen while browsing the internet with Chrome. Google TV will also be able to interact with hardware you already own like a DVR to schedule recording of TV shows while you continue to watch TV as usual.
Using Google’s tremendous translation and voice transcription resources, Google TV will be able to automatically generate subtitles for content and even translate those subtitles to your native language (as long as Google supports the language).
Now, lets take a reality check for us Sri Lankans. Google TV is set to release in the US towards end of this year, and internationally in 2011. A question is whether we have enough bandwidth to run Google TV smoothly. The answer right now is “it might be”. Personally, if I had to chose between a 3D TV and Google TV; hands down it will be Google TV.