Google Plans to Infiltrate Your TV


Good news, couch potatoes, you’ll  no longer have to choose between hibernating in front of your television or gluing yourself to a computer screen. Google (Stock Quote: GOOG)  is moving forward with its plan to create smart TVs in an attempt to give users the best of both worlds.

“We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes,” Salahuddin Choudhary, Google TV Product Manager, announced in a blog post after Google’s I/O conference. “These devices will go on sale this fall and will be available at Best Buy stores nationwide.”

These smart TVs of the not-so-distant future will employ Google (TICKER) Chrome to essentially become a one-stop-shop search engine. Users will be able to view their favorite Web sites, movies, TV shows and viral videos on their living room flat-screens (or perhaps, their kitchen TVs.)

“If you know what you want to watch, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels,” Choudhary said. ”If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.”

Consumers interested in getting a Google TV will have to buy a device that connects to a Sony television or a Blu-Ray player that will make the service available on existing television sets. Google is working with Intel to produce the device’s microprocessor and Logitech is creating a remote control and a wireless keyboard to complete the system.

Previous attempts have been made to integrate TV and the Internet by Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL), Yahoo (Stock Quote: YHOO) and Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT), none of which were embraced by consumers.  However, Google is hoping that the scope and buzz around its new service will prevent setbacks.  

In addition to the service itself, Google plans to incorporate specifically-designed smart TV applications in its new venture, encouraging web developers to come up with “the next great web and Android apps designed specifically for the TV experience.” The company already has a partnership in the works with and Rovi, developers who specialize in producing premium content and guide applications for new platforms. The tech giant’s smart TVs will also include video-on-demand products from (Stock quote: AMZN ) and Netflix Inc. (Stock quote: NFLX)

Clearly, Google wasn’t satisfied with the 4.8 million work hours consumed by its last productivity killer, a video game meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Pacman. Those interested in wasting more manpower can visit the GoogleTV Web site for updates on its availability.

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