Google’s plans for living room domination are well under way, with its first Google TV products due out this month from Sony and Logitech, and new deals signed with a number of content providers.
“One of our goals with Google TV is to finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers,” said Ambarish Kenghe, developer product manager for Google TV.
“By bringing Google Chrome and access to the entire internet, you can easily navigate to thousands of web sites to watch your favorite web videos, play Flash games, view photos, read movie reviews or chat with friends — all on the big screen.”
Kenghe said that the firm had been working closely with content providers to produce a system that would be economically viable and appealing to users. He added that although some would offer shows for free, others will offer premium web content for a cost.
Turner Broadcasting, which runs CNN and the Cartoon Network, has optimised its web sites for Google TV, while NBC Universal has chosen to produce an application that lets users follow its CNBC news feeds while watching its programmes.
Cult US channel HBO will also run on the service. Kenghe said that HBO GO would let authenticated subscribers – it is a cable channel in the US and a Sky partner in the UK – access hundreds of hours of programming.
Video on demand firms Amazon and Netflix will also be present in the service, letting users choose from a range of streamed films and television shows.
Google has also brought a number of web staples into the TV service. These include news sites such as the New York Times and USA Today, which have optimised for the service, along with Napster, YouTube and Twitter.
“We’re really excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the platform and can’t wait for it to reach your living room,” Kenghe said. “Devices powered by Google TV will launch this month, so look out for more information in the next few weeks from Sony on its Internet TV and Blu-Ray player, and Logitech on its companion box.”
We have asked Google in the UK for more information about a local service, and were told that currently there is no timescale for launches other than that in the US.
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