Google TV to Launch Later This Month: Apps, Netflix Streaming, AirPlay-Like Video Capabilities
Google today launched an extensive mini-site dedicated to the Google TV, the company's service announced earlier this year designed to integrate TV watching and the Internet.
One of our goals with Google TV is to finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers. By bringing Google Chrome and access to the entire Internet, you can easily navigate to thousands of websites to watch your favorite web videos, play Flash games, view photos, read movie reviews or chat with friends - all on the big screen.
While an exact launch date and pricing for the hardware (a standalone Logitech box and Sony TVs and Blu-ray players with hardware integration are the launch products) are not yet known, Google new site provides a good look at some of the service's features, especially when considered against the new Apple TV. Hardware supporting the new service is said to launch sometime later this month.
In particular, Google is highlighting apps that will be available on Google TV, noting that it will ship with applications from the likes of Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, and Amazon Video On Demand, with compatibility for Android Market apps set to come to Google TV early next year. The ability to run applications is seen as one of the key differences between Google TV and the new Apple TV, which is currently unable to run iOS applications, although hints have suggested that Apple may enable the functionality at some point in the future.
Google TV will also allow users with iPhones or Android phones to serve as remote controls for their Google TV, including voice search capabilities and the ability to link multiple phones with a single Google TV. The service will also incorporate a "Fling" feature similar to Apple's forthcoming AirPlay feature, allowing users watching content on their phones to send the content to their Google TVs.