Google aims for television dominance with robust content lineup
Google said Monday that Amazon, the NBA, Netflix, The New York Times, NBC Universal, USA Today and others will provide content and applications for the upcoming “Google TV.”
Google TV, which the Internet search giant unveiled in May at a software developers conference in San Francisco, is to be available this month.
Developed in partnership with Sony, Logitech and Intel, Google TV allows users to mesh television viewing with surfing the Web.
Google launched a website, Google.com/TV, on Monday that provides an explanation of how Google TV works and gives information about how to purchase an Internet-enabled TV from Sony or a set-top box from Logitech.
Google TV, which is powered by Google’s Android software and Chrome Web browser, can be accessed using the Sony TVs or set-top boxes from Logitech that route Web content to existing TV sets.
Pricing and the exact date of availability were not announced. Logitech is scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday and Sony is staging its own event next week.
Logitech boxes feature computer keyboards that act as Google TV remote controls. On-screen home pages let people search television programming as they do the Internet.
In a blog post on Monday, Google said it had partnered with a number of leading content providers for Google TV including Amazon’s video on demand service and streaming movie rental company Netflix.
Ambarish Kenghe, developer product manager for Google TV, said other partners include news sites The New York Times and USA Today, music sites VEVO, Pandora and Napster and micro-blogging service Twitter.
Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, whose television properties include TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, is also a partner along with NBC Universal’s financial news channel CNBC.
HBO, the network behind “The Sopranos” and other hit shows, will also make some of its programming available to Google TV users, Google said.
Google said the NBA has built “NBA Game Time,” an application that lets users follow game scores in real-time and catch up on highlights.
“This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from more sites that are enhancing their Web content for the television,” Kenghe said.
Google is not the first technology company to attempt to marry the TV set and the Internet and and a number of electronics manufacturers already offer Web-enabled televisions or digital set-top boxes.
Yahoo! jumped into the Internet television arena more than 18 months ago and Apple recently upgraded its offering, Apple TV.
Sony is among the electronics companies that have already brought Internet-capable televisions to market, but those sets have typically been limited to letting people access specific websites such as YouTube.