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Intro to Google TV - Your Living Room Won't Be The Same Any More

Updated on October 29, 2010

For a long time now, companies have been looking for a way to transform the way we view television. Some time back, I decided to buy Dlink's set top media box. This only gave me the ability to listen to web-based radio and create some elementary photo slideshows. Unfortunately, things haven't advanced much since then. You can get Netflix videos streamed to your home via the Roku box, and with Apple TV, you can relax in your living room and view your favorite iTunes. The way in which we watch television may soon change dramatically, however, if a recent Google announcement bears fruit. Google TV may very well be the new technology we've been waiting for.

Sony and Logitech developed this system which is designed to enable anyone to use a television to access the Internet. The Chrome browser and the Android operating system will be integral components of this new technology. It means that you will have the ability to use your television set just like you use your computer to browse and search the Internet. Sony TVs, Blu-ray players and Logitech set top boxes will be the first devices to have this technology installed. Fall 2010 is the time when we can expect the first devices to be shipped.

There are several reasons why the installation of Google TV on these first machines won't have a major impact on the television industry, despite the fact that it is definitely a step in the right direction. The fact that these initial Google-TV-enabled machines won't be open source is the first reason. And there won't be an Android market for these devices when they are first shipped, even though developers will be given a Software Developmet Kit or SDK soon after shipment takes place. The result is that these Google-TV devices will only come with the "approved" applications that are installed at the time of manufacture. Google TV simply isn't a breakthrough technology when these facts are taken into consideration.

On the other hand, by 2011, things could be significantly different. According to Google, their television platform will definitely be open source at some point in the future. It won't be just the devices manufactured by Sony, Blu-ray and Logitech that will be able to support Google TV; any device manufacturer will have access to the platform. When this happens, you could very well be using your television set like your smartphone.

As a matter of fact, in 2011, application developers will be able to create apps for set up boxes and television sets when Google releases its promised update to the the Android SDK. This means that all content publishers will be able to offer applications, not just a few. A much broader audience will be available to individuals who produce Internet-based video programs. It will be easy to use a television in much the same way that one uses an Android phone. It's at this point that Google TV becomes the breakthrough technology its makers have claimed it to be. Simply put, you won't need an Internet service provider to access the Internet. Cable tv stations will no longer be able to control what you are able to view. Televison helper devices will also be a thing of the past. The ability to browse the web, enjoy game playing without having to use a separate console, and listen to their favorite tunes will be available to Android users via their television sets.

It is quite a bold and potentially revolutionary step that Google is taking with the announcement of its TV platform. Time will tell whether Google will be able to deliver on what it has promised. If users embrace it in the same way that they have Android phones, then the sky is the limit. Google will become an even bigger giant than it already is if the public supports this new technology. Not satisfied with its status of "King of the Internet," Google may soon usurp our TV sets, as well.

Google TV Demo

The Potential Benefits of Google TV for Photographers

One of the best things about Google TV is that it is custom tailored for television viewers. There is nothing particularly special about a manufacturer offering customers the ability to surf the internet via the television set. Indeed, this has been widely available for quite some time. Google TV's innovation lies in its ability to provide programming information for particular channels via its search bar. The ways in which such data can be used are what truly differentiates Google from competitors, and the accompanying applications are proof of the interest brands such as Napster, Amazon and Twitter have in this new technology.

It is simple to download other applications so that you can create a truly specialized platform, and you will consistently receive updates directly from Google. Flicker, Picasa and other applications are also available for installation, permitting users complete access to personal photo galleries. Since Google TV is almost universally adaptable, users who own HDTV sets have the ability to see their personal photos in high definition. This can be a tremendous thing for photography mavens, because it effectively raises the resolution level of their photos. The new technology offers photographers the chance to display their work to its very best advantage. Google places no restrictions on what can be viewed via the browser function. Paired with the Adobe Flash Player, it is possible to view Flash content through one's television screen. Thus, it is possible to view YouTube or other online content on large screen, high definition sets.

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    • VictorG profile image

      VictorG 

      7 years ago from USA

      I think it is awesome that more and more electronics, like dvd players, are coming with a number of built in options for creating a media center. Between Google Tv, Hulu, Netflix ect, there are so many exciting ways to enjoy quality programming without using traditional cable.

      I have had a media center for some time, which allows me to have a much more interactive television and like it so much more than cable. Can't wait to see how Google's new project develops!

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