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Google TV Announced With Intel, Sony, and Logitech 224

Posted by timothy
from the you-like-dexter-and-barney dept.
MojoKid writes "Google's own I/O conference in California is wrapping up today, but not before the company goes out with a serious bang. Google just announced something that has been rumored for a while now: Google TV. Basically, Google is taking the Apple TV concept, but going way overboard by introducing apps, screen customization, and channel searching. Following Google's own announcement, Intel stepped in to provide some backbone to the story. Google is obviously using the big players to move Google TV forward, with Intel, DISH Network, Best Buy, and Adobe firmly on board. Google TV itself is based on Android, runs the Google Chrome browser, and will allow users to access all of their usual TV channels as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications, including Adobe Flash-based content."
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Google TV Announced With Intel, Sony, and Logitech

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  • Mainstream (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:50PM (#32284122)

    Probably 90% of people on Slashdot have a computer hooked up to their TV, one way or another. But more mainstream options are still limited to things like AppleTV. Hopefully this Google offering helps make the usability level low enough that the technologically challenges masses will start to get some of the same benefits. Maybe it will hurt the entrenched content providers enough and provide enough of a market that we will be able to purchase shows ala carte at reasonable prices over the internet; without all the middle men taking our money.

    • Re:Mainstream (Score:4, Informative)

      by diegocg (1680514) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:04PM (#32284382)

      Well, googletv is able to do more things than what I do with my computer hooked up to my TV. You can google for tv shows, choose the best choice, press a button, and googletv will sintonize the channel automatically (or show a GUI to record the show in the future). Goodbye, channel numbers! I don't know if there're other "media centers" that can do this, but it looked pretty amazing to me.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Lots of stuff does much of that.

        Clicker.com is great for finding the locations of shows online.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, googletv is able to do more things than what I do with my computer hooked up to my TV.

        Really?

        You can google for tv shows, choose the best choice, press a button, and googletv will sintonize the channel automatically (or show a GUI to record the show in the future).

        I don't know what "sintonize" means. Are you reverting to a native tongue? Anyway, guessing by the context, there are a number of applications for computers that do exactly that sort of thing, especially if you're using your computer with a tuner card.

        Goodbye, channel numbers!

        I said "goodbye" to both channel numbers and channel names many years ago. My computer has long recommended TV programs and others I searched for or just added to my regular rotation. Who knows when something is on, or what channel and who cares? Althou

        • there are a number of applications for computers that do exactly that sort of thing, especially if you're using your computer with a tuner card.

          But only for over the air. If you try to tune in any digital channels from some cable or satellite providers, you might find that only over-the-air channels are clear QAM, and only over-the-air channels are free of 5C encryption on the FireWire output. Or to put it another way: "Comcast's action prevented me from living where I wanted to live." [threebit.net]

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Get an IR blaster and record off the unencrypted interface, like say component or remove the encryption with an hdcp stripper.

    • by Dracker (1323355)
      What does this do that a WIndows 7 HTPC doesn't, though? If you're talking about ease of use, the only thing I have to do on my win7 box is press a button on my remote and Windows Media Center pops up. Yes, I had to buy a WMC-friendly remote that came with a USB receiver. I still don't think this is hard. In fact, the only thing that's "hard" about my setup is that most people don't know you can even do that. They don't know that you can hook a computer to a TV, they don't know WMC exists, and they don't
      • by Itninja (937614)
        It's even easier if you have an XBox360 integrated with the W7MC. And, BTW, your cable box is a tuner, albeit a digital one. I use a TiVo which has Netflix streaming built-in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        In fact, the only thing that's "hard" about my setup is that most people don't know you can even do that. They don't know that you can hook a computer to a TV, they don't know WMC exists, and they don't know that you can get a remote for the computer.

        Well not knowing you can do it, not having an extra computer, not knowing where to buy a cheap computer that can hook up to the TV, not knowing how to configure the computer to display on the TV, etc. If you know what you're doing and are a geek, of course you integrate your computer and TV. For everyone else there needs to be a plug and play pre-configured system for them, like what Google is offering.

    • Is get it on Blu-ray players. That is the way thing seems to be going for the mass market now. It is uncommon to see a Blu-ray player without a net connection since they need firmware updates for retarded copy protection reasons and BD-Live needs net access. Well, the companies figured out that since their players can decode video and get on the net, they could also play video from the net. You can get Netflix, Vudu and such right to your Blu-ray player.

      If Google can get on that, it'll be a real win for the

    • by cjb658 (1235986)

      Probably 90% of people on Slashdot have a computer hooked up to their TV, one way or another. But more mainstream options are still limited to things like AppleTV. Hopefully this Google offering helps make the usability level low enough that the technologically challenges masses will start to get some of the same benefits. Maybe it will hurt the entrenched content providers enough and provide enough of a market that we will be able to purchase shows ala carte at reasonable prices over the internet; without all the middle men taking content providers' money.

      There, fixed that for ya

    • Re:Mainstream (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:17PM (#32286338) Homepage

      Ultimately the problems with hooking up a computer to the TV isn't as much about the technology or usability, it's about the content. Most of the big electronics companies just won't invest in building sleek set-top boxes because they need a content feed, and there are only a few options: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and iTunes.

      All of those services have limited content, and Hulu actively tries to prevent set-top-box support because they don't really want you watching Internet content on your TV. Hulu is owned by the TV networks, and neither the TV networks nor the Cable companies particularly like the idea of shows being distributed via the Internet rather than broadcast networks.

      If content owners allowed their shows to be streamed in an open video format via an open protocol, you would see a gold rush of manufacturers building TVs and set-top boxes that supported that format and protocol. Aside from building fast enough Internet access and having big enough datacenters to serve all that video (or using a bittorrent-like P2P technology to handle the bandwidth on the server end), providing TV and movies over the Internet is not a technological problem at all.

      It comes down to this: The powerful people and businesses in TV and movies are invested in TV networks and cable companies. Though they may provide some services online, they'll try to make sure they're substandard and crippled in order to make sure you keep paying your cable bill.

  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:53PM (#32284170) Homepage
    Can't wait to watch grass grow [watching-grass-grow.com] on 100+ plasma/LCD's at your local big box store.
  • Until I get better internet service, it is a moot point. I don't see AT&T or Comcast (Xfinity) helping Google here.

    I do look forward to Google (or someone) getting fiber into my city, and to my door. Yeah, Comcast has fiber running right under my driveway, but getting it that extra 90 ft seems impossible right now.

    • What'll you bet that Comcast tries to sabotage this clandestinely, gets caught, and shoves the whole net neutrality debate onto center stage?
  • Networks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:56PM (#32284242)
    But what will the TV Networks and Cable Providers do about it? Cell phone companies have slaughtered Android and TV networks/cable providers think that even though you are -paying- for TV you still need to be shown tons and tons of ads. So the question remains whether this will remain untouched or if it will be corrupted like Android has been by the TV networks and cable providers?
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      How have the cell phone companies slaughtered android?

      I have a droid, I seem to be missing nothing and the moment a 2.2 rom for it drops I will be installing that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        In a lot of ways, while Verizon (oddly enough) has been pretty outgoing in embracing Android and not screwing with its customer's devices, AT&T doesn't let you install non-market apps, adds your phone with unusable bloatware that isn't removable, changes the default search engine to Yahoo! and generally takes out any open-ness of Android (see http://www.pcworld.com/article/191036/motorola_backflip_on_atandt_not_the_full_android_experience.html [pcworld.com] and note that AT&T has been heavily promoting the Backfl
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I am tethering just fine. I use Azilink for this.

          Buying a phone from AT&T is going to be just like that. They can't have any phone outshining their iPhone can they?

          There are some phones that also do not allow unsigned roms, my advice is simply not to buy one of those phones. For this simple reason if I was in europe I would not buy the milestone, same phone as droid but requires signed boot images.

          • Well yes, but it still stands of an example of networks screwing up Android. The entire point of Android was to unleash the power that was in a cell phone without being tied to expensive and stupid software. Carriers have consistently tried to remove the entire point of Android by limiting what their phones can do.
    • by LoudMusic (199347)

      What your television subscription pays for is all the hardware and power it takes to get the signal to your facility. What the advertisers pay for is the content creation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        So, let me get this right, even though I've already paid a large sum of money (more than enough to cover the hardware and the 20 feet of cable needed to go from the sidewalk to my house), it still costs $30 a month to get the signal to my house!? I think I could run Cat 5 cable and stream things from a small server to a neighborhood for less than that and that isn't even including the economies of scale with a large cable company such as Comcast.
        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          So, let me get this right, even though I've already paid a large sum of money (more than enough to cover the hardware and the 20 feet of cable needed to go from the sidewalk to my house), it still costs $30 a month to get the signal to my house!?

          No, it costs less than $30. Comcast charges more so that they can cover their overhead (tech support, billing, advertising, marketing, business, etc) and still make a profit. Econ 101.

          Also, don't forget that they charge for the convenience of having the cable already run to your house, and probably charge a flat rate whether you live in an apartment (cheap for them) or out in the sticks, and thus average the cost for their baseline.

      • Re:Networks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:20PM (#32284660)

        What your television subscription gets you is tons of channels you do not want to watch and commercials on the ones you do want to watch. This is why I dropped cable and use clicker.com to find shows online to watch. If I am going to watch commercials I might as well not pay for the privilege.

    • The radio frequencies reserved for transmitted television and the satellites used for Sat TV can be deployed to far more useful purposes once TV's deployed off to glass fibre and DSL

      Like being able to watch hi-def music videos on your phone wherever in the world you are at the same time as backing up your latest phonecam shots to the cloud...
      • The radio frequencies reserved for transmitted television and the satellites used for Sat TV can be deployed to far more useful purposes once TV's deployed off to glass fibre and DSL

        That won't happen any time soon. The excuse is that deploying "glass fibre and DSL" to the farmers who grow the food you eat is so expensive that it would take a government initiative analogous to the Rural Electrification Act [wikipedia.org]. They even get their Internet over satellite.

  • Looks like the boxes will be running on an Atom chip, so it might offer some interesting hacking opportunities.
  • It sounds great. However, there's no mention yet about whether it will be US-only, or if/when there will be an international rollout. I can't watch Hulu in Canada, I can't use Netflix, I can't use a cablecard, and I have to presume that, at least at first, I won't be able to use Google TV.

    OK, I CAN use Hulu in Canada if I trick them into thinking I'm in the US, but that's not quite the same.
    • by Obyron (615547)
      Since most of Canada have metered internet anyway, even if you had this you'd probably rack up a fortune in overages trying to actually use it. I'm sure it's only a coincidence that the major internet providers in Canada are all television providers. I feel like I'm in the internet dark ages up here.
  • If not, no thanks

  • I listened to the Google I/O keynote this morning, and i didn't really hear about any compelling features that couldn't be reproduced by a good A/V switch and a line in from my PC to the TV. They did make some crack about how previous attempts at internet TV failed as soon as they required the user to switch inputs since most of them didn't know how to get back to regular TV (certainly a rather cynical view) but i'm not sure how it will benefit anyone who's technically proficient enough to handle normal inp
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I suspect the point will be efficiency and convenience, which will be true for technophobes and technophiles alike.

      Think of Google search. "All" it did was make finding things more efficient--but that represented a dramatic improvement in the experience of using the web. Or Gmail--we all had email beforehand, but it provided a much better interface. (Obviously not everyone will agree that the Gmail interface is good, but my point is just that lots of people do like that interface, and thus switched to Gm
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Clicker handles the which shows are on which websites already. I don't have cable so no channels for me.

      • Ok, I GET it.. a search bar for my TV, and targeted ads on my TV. Is there much else to say about this thing?

        It will be interesting how other set tob box suppliers respond, particularly the cable cos who are already in the advertising business. I don't think anyone can ignore what happened to TIVO...

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      My daughter has been switching inputs on the TV since she was 7 (we've got a Wii). She's been using the DVD player built into the other TV since she was 4. It is not clear that my wife knows how to do either of these. Necessity is the mother of figuring out how stuff works.
    • by tepples (727027)

      i didn't really hear about any compelling features that couldn't be reproduced by a good A/V switch and a line in from my PC to the TV.

      For one thing, SDTV output as a standard feature. A PC with a VGA, DVI, or HDMI output can connect to an HDTV, but half of households with a TV still have an SDTV in the living room. To connect a PC without a gaming video card to an SDTV, you need a scan converter [sewelldirect.com] to turn VGA into composite or S-Video.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        No, you just need a cheap video card that supports TV-out. I had one years ago that did S-Video. Pretty much any old ATI all in wonder will do that.

  • How is this different from the hundreds of millions of installed Java embeded hardware platforms already in the market?
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Probably not all that different, but your position basically echoes that of so many people who said of Google's original product (t's search engine): "How is this different from Lycos/Yahoo/Excite/AltaVista?".

      The answer: at it's base level, it's not different. HOWEVER, Google has a habit of taking things that have all been done before, and doing it RIGHT.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      I love Java as much as the next Java zealot, but sadly the last year's merger stall with Oracle really crippled the company in so many vital ways that I have my doubts about Oracle's ability to win back the hearts and minds of Mobile/Embedded developers from the growing influence of the iPhone and Android platforms. I wish Oracle all the best in this, though I do say they've got their work cut out for them.

  • for over the air TV. I had to get cable at my new place because the tuners in the TV's don't pick up most broadcast over rabbit ears. My Sharp Aquos has the worst reception. EyeTV dongle the best.
    You never see tuner quality mentioned in the reviews.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      What is on over the air you cannot get online?
      That you would actually want to watch.

  • Google stated today that too many people are having trouble deciding what to watch. Wrong.

    People are watching "monkees washing cats" videos on You Tube because that's more intriguing than the crap on broadcast TV.

  • So now all the phones and TVs have IP addresses and we still aren't running out.

  • Is this Web TV [wikipedia.org] (MSN TV) done right?
  • and? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bugi (8479) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:32PM (#32284834)

    It looks like the networks will still schedule all the shows I like at the same time on the same night, forcing me to choose which ones to ignore. Don't be stupid. Let me decide what to watch and when; then we can talk.

    How about this? Schedule first-run when your generic focus groups tell you, then leave it available so real people can watch whenever we get around to it. I have better things to do than schedule my life around you.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Stop using cable or get a DVR. I use online video and never had to deal with oh noes two shows on at the same time. In 2010 that should not be an issue.

      • by bugi (8479)

        You'd think, but DVRs have only so many inputs, requiring one to pick amongst shows that are played at the same time. You say two shows, but what about three or four? No, seriously: my interests extend beyond the big four to the more obscure networks like History, Book TV, AMC and SyFy.

        Those networks that do make their shows available online do so for a limited time, making it difficult to catch up if you aren't a dedicated viewer. Many networks also go out of their way to make it difficult for anyone no

  • Best Buy (Score:5, Funny)

    by supersloshy (1273442) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:35PM (#32284878)

    Best Buy

    I instantly thought this was a horrible idea right here. I can't trust anything they do. After all of the Internet horror stories, stories from my relatives, and even in my own family about the terrible things that can happen when Best Buy is involved, I can't trust them with this.

    Best Buy employee: This is the all new Google TV. It allows real-time web 2.0 synergy between your living room and the Internet.
    Me: Um... what?
    Employee: It's like TV but combined with the Internet with apps and stuff.
    Me: Awesome! How much does it cost?
    Employee: We sell the regular model by itself for X dollars, but that isn't certified with us.
    Me: Oh, it isn't?
    Employee: Yeah, it might not work with your TV unless you pay $150 more for our Geek Squad(tm) service. They set it up, put apps on it for you, and make sure everything works.
    Me: I'm a computer nerd, I can set it up myself. Thanks anyways!
    Employee: If you buy it without our service then you don't get [insert feature here]. You either have to use Geek Squad(tm) or buy this $100 gold-plated cable.
    Me: *looks at box* But the box says that I get that feature without having to buy anything.
    Employee: Yeah, but you need these cables to have it look decent.
    Me: I have some old ones at home I can use. Thank you for helping!
    Employee: We're out of regular Google TVs.
    Me: ...Say what?
    Employee: We only have our pre-specialized models. They have everything already set up by Geek Squad(tm) so you don't have to bother.
    Me: I'd much rather bother.
    Employee: Trust me, it's horrible without our service. Are you sure?
    Me: *sigh* Fine, I'll buy it.
    Employee: Thank you for shopping at Best Buy!
    *I get home and set it up*
    Me: Okay, ready to try out my new Google TV! Wait... what's this? The box never said anything about "free trials" to all of these programs. Why is the interface so slow? Oh, it's all of these other things that came pre-installed. Of course. Why is this acting all weird? *looks in settings* These settings aren't what the defaults were in the manual! Ugh... *Google TV crashes* What the crap! Okay, screw this, I'm returning it.
    *goes back to best buy*
    Me: Excuse me, I'd like to return this obviously faulty Google TV.
    Employee: Did you install it?
    Me: Yes, how else would I know it is faulty?
    Employee: It seems you used unqualified cables. I'm afraid you can't return it.
    Me: Unqualifi- No, no, no! You can't void my ability to return this because I didn't use those $100 cables! That doesn't make sense!
    Employee: Rules are rules, sir. Have a nice day.

    I could go on but you can imagine the horror.

  • by ProppaT (557551) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:43PM (#32285020) Homepage

    And the first of these is by getting in bed with the major cable networks and offering an ala carte subscription service. I can get the big 4 over the air. If I can stream Comedy Central, Sci Fi, Cartoon Network, and Discovery I'd gladly pay them a little of the money that I was paying for hundreds of channels I didn't care about with cable. What do you say, Google? You're the only one who has the backbone to even attempt this. I'll even buy a stupidly overpriced box to buy into it. My only concern is that they'll pack so much content into this that I'll never want to turn off my Plasma...and that would get kinda pricey.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Pretty much anything you want from the first three is already online for free. Why would you pay for it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stray7Xi (698337)

      And the first of these is by getting in bed with the major cable networks and offering an ala carte subscription service. I can get the big 4 over the air. If I can stream Comedy Central, Sci Fi, Cartoon Network, and Discovery I'd gladly pay them a little of the money that I was paying for hundreds of channels I didn't care about with cable

      Ala carte channels is an obsolete idea already even though it never existed. It only made sense after digital cable but before widespread On Demand. The same reasons you reject bundling of channels can be extended to why I should reject bundling of shows into channels. If I'm streaming, the whole notion of "channel" is an artificial construct.

      Look at hulu for example, you can browse by channel, but it's rare that you'd want to.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      Cable co's have specific licensing with their upsteam content providers. Although what you propose is possible, it also means re-negotiating the contract's, etc.. Red tape is annoying and ultimately this has to come down to the bottom line: Does adding this service (minus the rollout costs) make me more money?

  • Bandwidth is really all I need now.

  • Part of this initiative (IMHO) serves the purpose of fucking with Apple: it will be Flash based, hence out.of-limits to iPod, iPhone and iPad.

    If Google TV becomes hugely popular, the joke's on Apple.

  • How does this service fix the problem that Bruce Springsteen first complained about 20 years ago [springsteenlyrics.com]?
  • They make the 3d mouse that I use at work; I could see that being a very useful way to interact with or manage certain types of entertainment ...

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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