Google announced its foray into television today at its annual I/O conference in San Francisco. The search and Internet media mega-brand will be launching Google TV on Sony television sets equipped with Intel processing chips. Tr
aditional programming will be augmented on the service by an Internet connection, an application marketplace and Web browser all by the grace of the Android operating system that each set will be equipped with.
Differentiating Google TV from previous Web-TV projects such as TiVo, Roku, Vudu and Apple TV, this new project has various advantages. Android, another Google product, is popularly used for smartphones from various US mobile carriers. Data from Millennial Media shows the number of ad impressions from Android devices to be the fastest growing among smartphones, as reports Digital Daily. In addition, some television manufacturers currently also make some Android-powered smartphones, such as LG and Samsung. Because of this healthy adoption rate, and some brands' preceding familiarity with the OS that Google TV will run, the adoption risks may be lower, or at least seem that way to these device producers.
Sony will be adopting the service in its Internet-enabled, high-definition Bravia televisions, some Blu-ray players, and one ventures to guess it could also be included in future Playstation consoles. Intel also has much to gain from the venture, with billions spent developing the Atom processors that will be in these TV sets, the chips representing its "high-stakes push to crack the market for consumer electronics," as The New York Times puts it.
In addition to these brands, Logitech is developing "the Buddy Box," a Google TV set-top box. Seen as a more premium product than the Roku, a sub-$100 device, the device could still provide easier entry without purchasing a new television set. Also included with the on-demand video service will be products from Amazon.com, Netflix and Hulu, according to Business Week.