It has been a few months since we first started talking about Google TV and the upcoming television platform has now officially received its own blog at googletv.blogspot.com. In the first blog post made yesterday, Google has announced the content partners who have signed up to the new service and whose content may be available when Google TV over the next few months.
This includes TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim from Turner Broadcasting, financial news from CNBC and movies on-demand from HBO. Besides this, Google TV will also offer access to movies and TV shows from Netflix and Amazon Video-on-Demand.
Google has indicated that their platform will go beyond regular television and movie broadcasting and will also include access to news websites like USA Today and New York Times, music sites like VEVO, Pandora and Napster, social media sites like Twitter and networks like Blip.TV and Youtube Leanback.
Confirmation from many more content providers is awaited.
Now if more recent speculations are to be believed, Intel could be wrong. This is because a leaked internal document from Best Buy has revealed that the Google TV could actually be making it to the stores only by October 17th. This is after the document notes that the original launch date of October 3 had to be deferred due to unspecified issues. Considering that Best Buy is an official Google partner in the sale of Google TV, this looks like a pretty reasonable speculation. But wouldn’t it be great if G gave us an official launch date?
After successfully showcasing their search engine prowess on stage to media outlets, Google may be gearing up for one more public announcement for Google TV. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Intel CEO, Paul Otellini has stated that the new Google TV system could begin shipping as early as this month.
Intel has previously been a supplier of chips to the Apple TV and according to Otellini, the new venture from Google is powerful and should mark a significant paradigm shift in the television segment. Comparing the latest venture with Apple TV, Otellini said,
“I also believe there are probably households that one will appeal to and the other won’t. My mom might use an Apple TV because it’s really simplistic. My son is probably going to go buy a Google TV, simply because it’s cool. He wants to be able to do his Facebook chat and talk to his friends saying, “Hey, are you watching the game?” in real time. You cannot do that on Apple TV.”
Samsung has indicated that it is contemplating on building new television sets that could come integrated with Google’s open source mobile OS – Android. The integration will give Samsung customers an ability to access a plethora of third party entertainment and media applications from the Android marketplace right from their televisions.
The idea itself is nothing new considering that Google is already known to be working with companies like Sony, Intel and Logitech in the development of an Android supported television set-top box system. The fact that Samsung is keen to join Google in its new venture could give the television manufacturer a head-start against competition in a new segment which could potentially generate millions of revenues in the future if it takes off.
Officially though, the South Korean company is being contemplative. Yoon Boo Keun, the head of Samsung’s television business has simply said that they are reviewing the Android platform, but has refused to confirm anything beyond this.
Google has been working on several avenues to get a foothold on the entertainment business. While we are still to hear the latest on the company’s venture in the Google TV business, we hear Mountain View is already in talks with major media companies to launch a pay-per-view rental movie streaming service on YouTube. YouTube is already the world’s largest video sharing network and a launch could easily make Google the leader in this segment – ahead of players like Netflix and Hulu.
But Netflix and Hulu are not the biggest losers here. As TechCrunchpoints out, the loser in the long term could be the traditional cable TV companies that have failed to adapt (or rather stopped from innovating) in order to maintain their ridiculously high profit margins. With the entry of newer internet based movie and TV show streaming services, content producers have started seeing value in licensing their content to these companies and this could turn the tide in the favor of these new-age media companies. TechCrunch notes,
“Cable is vulnerable because for far too long they’ve screwed us all with ridiculous prices for a crapload of content that we simply don’t want. Despite the ever-present promise of a-la-carte pricing, it has never come to fruition. And so our cable bills remain close to (or over) $100 a month. We’re paying for so much stuff we simply don’t want. But we have no choice.”
However, it appears that Google TV is not going to work merely as a set top box for your television sets. A recent picture of the device’s interiors offers greater insights into what purposes the device will serve. And the speculation right now is that this is not just a set-top box, but also a nettop.
As you can see from the picture above, the Google TV platform looks pretty similar to any normal Intel Atom powered nettop that supports multimedia capabilities. It has a 1.2GHz Intel Atom processor, hardware accleration for HD video, 3D graphics, heat sink, Wi-Fi module, USB ports, ethernet jack and other connections.
So in all probability, you can not only connect your Google TV to your television as a set top box, but can also connect it to your computer to serve as a media-center platform.
The much famed Google TV could be coming soon. According to a report published on Bloomberg, Sony is expected to make an announcement regarding the anticipated Google TV at a conference sponsored by Google on the 19th or 20th of next month.
The new range of televisions will sport Intel Atom chips customized to run with a new version of Android OS called DragonPoint. The result would be televisions and Blu-Ray DVD players with internet access. Logitech is also expected to play a part in this partnership by developing a keyboard that could work as a remote control.
Android OS is free and is still among the most popular OS on smartphones. It was hence seen as an ideal platform that television manufacturers would need to bring web applications to TV. However we hear that Panasonic has dropped the idea to bring Android OS based Television due to the costs involved.
According to a Robert Perry, senior vice president of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co, deployment of Android OS on Panasonic’s television sets would require the company to install “pricey” chips from Google’s partner, Intel Inc. which could make the television unaffordable.
Panasonic’s decision follows a similar move by Samsung earlier this month to reject Google’s proposal for a Google TV due to the high costs involved. What do you think? Is Google TV plagued by high associated costs?
Acording to a story published on the New York Times, Google is working on developing an Atom powered set-top box that will could introduce us to a “Google TV” platform. According to the sources, Google may be opening the platform for third party developers to bring add-on plugins, much in the same way as third party apps are available on the Android marketplace.
Intel is assumed to be powering the devices while Sony is set to be developing the set top boxes. The report claims Logitech to be working on a compatible remote control for the platform.