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21 May 2010, 13:15

Google I/O: Google TV announced

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Google TV Logo At this year's Google I/O developer conference, Google announced the launch of Google TV, a new project based on its open source Android mobile offering for TVs and set-top boxes. According to Google, although four billion people across the world watch TV, an increasing number of people are getting their entertainment from phones and computers. Google believes that this is because TVs lack a vital feature, access to the web. Discussing the announcement, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said, "I think this is going to be the biggest improvement to television since colour".

The company hopes that its new Google TV platform will seamlessly bring the best of the web to the "high-quality viewing experience that TV offers". An Android-powered Google TV device will run the Chrome web browser, allowing users access to the web along with a plethora of entertainment content options. Support for many existing Android applications will also be built-in and custom apps specifically for the TV experience are expected to follow. Currently Google TV is based on version 2.1 of Android, but an upgrade to the most current version is planned. Outlined hardware requirements include an Intel Atom or better processor, discrete graphics hardware, an HDMI out connection, Bluetooth, IR connectivity, Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

Initially Google TV will be exclusive to Sony and Logitech devices, including Blu-ray players, internet-enabled TVs and set-top boxes. Peripheral manufacturer Logitech is also reportedly working on a range of accessories for Google TV, such as remote controls and keyboards. Google-enabled TVs and Google TV devices are expected to start shipping in the autumn of this year. Once launched, Google says that it will be releasing a Google TV SDK and web APIs for TV for developers to build applications that can be distributed via the Android Market.

More details about Google TV are available in a post on the Official Google blog. A short introductory video is also available on YouTube.

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