Next Generation TV
“Entertainment will never be so ahead of it’s time”
Android TV delivers a world of content, apps, live sports and multiplayer games to your living room.
Apps like YouTube, Hulu Plus and NBA Game Time put personalized recommendations in your home screen.
Just say it
Press the mic on your remote and tell Android TV what you want. Try “romantic comedies set in New York”
Cast movies & TV shows, music, games, sports and more — from Android, iOS, Mac or Windows, to your TV
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Enjoy beautiful Ultra HD 4K content1 and incredible games with NVIDIA SHIELD. Just plug SHIELD into your current television’s HDMI port to get started.
Google TV Hub Information
From a software standpoint, the early impressions of the GTV interface are largely positive. From the limited demonstration featured during the keynote, as well as other early sneak peek footage, the device allows for seamless integration between standard television and web content.
Nevertheless, questions are emerging about the problems which might arise from trying to experience the web on such large screens, as well as trying to optimize existing content for such a large platform.
Presently, Yahoo TV customers have access to thousands of widget based applications, giving them access to things like their Flickr accounts, the weather, news, and some television content. Google TV poses a serious threat, as users will have access to (theoretically) all the content found online. In terms of cost, analysts predict Yahoo TV will have a slight edge, at least for a while, as GTV hardware is expected to cost more given the need for higher performance hardware.
Yahoo also currently holds a more extensive list of partners which manufacture devices with Yahoo TV capability, including Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio and HiSense. In addition, Yahoo is also working with chipmakers like MIPS Technologies, Sigma Designs and OEM partners like ViewSonic to bring Yahoo TV to set-top boxes, DVD and Blu-ray players. Syabas, makers of the upcoming Popbox hardware device, have delayed shipping pre-orders until July 23rd amidst software issues.
To make matters worse, the set-top box will no longer be supporting Netflix, which may cause many to regret their preorder. The device also does not feature any means of connecting to a standard def TV, although this is not nearly as big an issue as the lack of Netflix support. On their official blog, Syabas also downplayed rumors of hardware DRM issues, stating that the current device will be able to support all future partner applications without the need for a hardware upgrade. The current list of parters includes Revision3, YouTube, Picasa, Clicker, and Twitter Samsung has announced the addition of Google Maps to their Samsung Apps store, which they advertise as the world’s first HDTV application store.
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The move would allow owners of Internet ready Samsung TV’s to enjoy Google Maps in full HD, which would undoubtedly be visually enjoyable. Eric Anderson, Sony’s VP of content and product solutions, had the following to say about Samsung Apps: “we created Samsung Apps so that content creators can develop applications that can be experienced on big-screen TVs.” According to the press statement, Samsung currently holds the #1 market share in Internet connected TV’s, and given Google’s consideration of a partnership with the TV manufacturer, this announcement comes as little surprise.
We will continue to bring you any new developments between these two companies, and there will surely be more to come. With yesterday’s announcement of the Logitech Revue, as well as Google’s vastly improved explanation video, there is definitely a lot of excitement to be had. There is one aspect of Google TV, however, that is not being made as publicly available and will come as a disappointment to some. The Android Market, home to over 50,000 apps, will not be immediately available during the initial launch of Google TV. Not only that, it is still unknown as to whether or not an APK installer will be included for those that download files themselves using the browser.
Google is doing this so developers have a chance to optimize their applications for use on Google TV, which is understandable. The APK add-on will likely be available early next year, with the full Android Market rolling out shortly thereafter. Also, with the Google TV source code not being released until sometime next year, it is less likely the hacking community will be able to provide an unofficial means of installing apps manually.
All of these factors makes this weeks video slightly misleading, as it clearly advertises the use of the Android Market without making mention of the 2011 release date. Once people begin to catch wind of this, it may result in fewer initial GTV customers. With no immediate threat from Apple, and the further delay of the Boxee set-top box, Google should perhaps consider pushing back the release date until early 2011 and provide full access to the Android Market. We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again.
Boxee has yet again announced a change of plans for the release of its first set top box. Some of you may remember last month when Boxee delayed the device, once slated for June, until this coming November. Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a concrete release date at this time, but Boxee CEO Avner Ronen is assuring an announcement will be made very soon. This persistant flip-flopping is surely a reaction to the Fall release of Google TV, and the increasing rumors of an updated Apple TV.
Boxee would love their device to be first in the race for the market, but it is yet to be seen if they can actually pull it off. There is a certain level of uncertainty associated with unveiling new products at large scale events like the recent Google I/O conference. Often times, there is speculation as to whether or not the public release will live up to the expectations bestowed upon it, like the famous E3 Killzone 2 trailer. The demonstrations of Google TV were certainly impressive, but the question remains: can Google deliver the same level of functionality and ease of use that was witnessed this past week? Google’s ventures outside of search have been a mix of great, not so great, and sometimes downright ugly.
However, there must be a certain level of assuredness stemming from the Mountain View brass regarding GTV, given the swaggering nature of the keynote address coupled with the not so subtle stabs at their neighbors in Cupertino. To ensure that GTV does not go the way of Apple TV, which Steve Jobs himself still feels is experimental, Google has partnered up with some fairly big names which add some serious weight to the project. For those who are already satisfied with their current TV, Google will be offering a hardware top box made by Logitech, which will act as a hub to the content on the web, as well any cable or satellite boxes connected to the device. Users will have the choice of controlling the device via a peripheral controller still under development, or via a smartphone connected to the same WiFi as the GTV box.
Information about the product release date and pricing are not yet available at this time, but Engadget is offering an in-depth preview of this device. Next up is Sony, which will be offering the first HDTV with GTV already on-board. Again, little is known about hardware specifications at this point, other than Intel providing the processing power as stated on the Sony website. What other brands might be offering integrated GTV solutions is also unclear at this time, but there will undoubtedly be other companies stepping up to the plate as well.
The other big name currently attached to the project is DISH Network, who is now advertising their partnership with Google to introduce GTV in the Fall. DISH Network customers will be able to utilize Google TV using their current hardware, along with a separate GTV device (be it the Logitech device or one specific to DISH). From the keynote address, it appears as if Google TV will be compatible with all cable or satellite providers, and it is unclear what advantage, if any, DISH will provide to the GTV experience. Best Buy is also in the mix, and will be featuring GTV demo stations, as well as offering the devices themselves for sale, sometime in the fall.
Further issues have arrisen, such as the questionable future of popular streaming sites such as Hulu, as well as the level of demand that actually exists for a device like this, given the number of consumers already experiencing the web on their televisions via gaming consoles and other proprietary devices. It is far too early to tell the kind of impact Google TV will have on home entertainment.
Given the ever growing popularity of experiencing television on the web, however, Google TV has the potential to be truly game changing in an arena others have tried, and mostly failed, to succeed in.
Tech industry feedback
“Google’s taking a big leap with Google TV — unlike its competitors, who’ve all focused on delivering curated video content with inexpensive streaming devices”
“Features like the search bar and integrated browser are so fundamentally good on a conceptual level that they seem destined to forever change our perception of TV user experience, regardless of how well Google TV itself fares in the market, and that’s no small accomplishment. Other features, like apps and smartphone control, seem equally ambitious and worthy of praise because of promise alone.”