Google, Intel and Sony Develop Google TV – Report

Android Heads to Sony-Made Intel-Based HDTVs and STBs

by Anton Shilov
03/17/2010 | 07:07 PM

Google, the world’s largest search engine and also an influential provider of Web-based services, has been seeking to extend its influence from personal computers to mobile phones, navigators and other products for some time now with rather noticeable success. Now Google wants to go further and with partners Intel Corp., Sony Corp. and Logitech wants to create the so-called Google TV, which will put the company’s services onto a TV screen.

 

The Google TV software will present consumers with a new interface for TV-sets that lets them execute Internet tasks like search while also pulling down Web programming like YouTube videos or TV shows from Hulu.com. The technology will also support downloadable software, from games to social networks, to run on the devices, claims the report from The New York Times citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The Google TV software can be installed either directly on a TV-set or onto a set-top-box (STB).

Intel and Logitech have been hiring software developers to tailor Google Android to their platforms, which may be an indicator that Google TV will be heavily based on Android. It is interesting to note, though, that Android was originally designed for ARM-based mobile phones, hence, porting it to x86 may be a challenging, but still a rewarding task.

Intel has been trying to enter the market of consumer electronics for years now, however, its success is quite moderate. In case Google TV becomes popular, the company’s chips will finally find themselves inside TVs and STBs. Meanwhile, Sony has been losing TV market share for nearly a decade and it also needs technology that would clearly differentiate it from the other manufacturers. In fact, the company has been offering a special STB for its TVs that lets users to access the Internet for a couple of years now. Moreover, Internet-based television has tremendous prospects, according to analysts.

It remains to be seen how traditional operators of TV networks treat Google TV. Owners of TV-channels with content are interested in showing their own commercials and are hardly truly interested in on-demand television in general and/or ability to switch from a TV broadcast to the Internet in search for additional information. Still, on the other hand, some may like the idea since it will also enable them to sell additional products or materials during their broadcasts.

Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech did not comment on the news-story.