Google launched their big Google TV offering at their I/O Conference this week, and it looks like Google TV is set to give online video a swift kick in the pants.
The Google TV box is an entertainment hub that pulls content from your DVR, cable and satellite, as well as searching the web. Google is positioning this as “TV meets Web, Web meets TV.”
Sony and Logitech are in on the deal, with Logitech offering the set-top box (affectionately called the Google TV companion box) and Sony bringing Google TV to its high-def televisions and Blu-ray DVD players in the Fall.
This is no small feat, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt pointed out at the conference. “It’s much harder to marry a 50-year-old technology and a brand-new technology than those of us from the brand-new technology industry thought,” he said.
Technology geeks, dig this: Google TV features 802.11n Wi-Fi, 2 HDMI-out ports, USB ports and Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Video chat comes in high def at 720p. Remote control apps for your iPhone or Android phone are forthcoming.
Google TV will be powered by a variant of its Android operating system, and will include Google's Chrome web browser, a browser ideal for media playback due to its sandbox technology. It also has full support for Flash, so no matter what Steve Jobs and his walled garden of Apple products say, Flash will be a major part of web video for the near future.
The best way to state this: "Less time finding, and more time watching," said Rishi Chandra when introducing Google TV at the conference.
It's also likely to include the newish YouTube Store, a YouTube video rental service that has expanded and is offering 2 day rentals for anywhere between $1 - $4, although a few titles cost more than that. The other cool part of the YouTube Store is that independent film creator can make their film or video available. Budding auteurs and directors take note: you can follow the music industry's model of self-promotion and distribution. This gives the YouTube store a distinct advantage over Netflix, Amazon or iTunes.