A Google TV refresher: What we know so far

Google is gearing up to launch its Google TV service any day now. Here is what we know about Google TV so far.

Google TV's planned fall launch is not news, but given that Google hasn't said much about its television plans since May, it's time for a refresher. Here's a quick rundown of everything to know about Google TV as anticipation grows for the imminent launch of the service:

What is Google TV?

It's a platform that joins the Internet with traditional television. Google TV shares some traits with TiVo Premiere -- search by name for a movie or show, and you'll find ways to watch on cable or the Web -- but Google's approach to the Internet is more open. Google TV can act as a full Web browser for Flash videos, e-mail and reading, and users can set up home screens for their favorite channels, shows and Web sites.

So it's not actually a television?

Not necessarily. Just as Android is a platform for smartphones, with hardware partners like Motorola and HTC, Google TV will run televisions and set-top boxes from other manufacturers. So far, Logitech has announced a set-top box called the Revue, and Sony plans to launch a television that integrates Google TV. Any cable box should be able to connect with Google TV devices at launch, but Dish Network HD DVR receivers will be "optimized" for the service, extending universal search to the Dish TV Guide, DVR recordings and on-demand movies.

How will subscription Web TV services work?

They'll be available through the browser like any other Web site, but whether there will be special treatment for services like Netflix and Hulu Plus remains unclear. Google has at least demonstrated embedding of Amazon and Netflix content within the main Google TV interface.

Will there be apps?

Google TV will start supporting the Android Market next year, bringing smartphone apps to the television, but it's still not clear how touchscreen apps will translate to the remote control. Separately, Google is encouraging Website developers to create Web apps for the television, optimized for viewing from the couch and controllable with buttons.

Do you need a mouse and keyboard?

It's a possibility, but Logitech's set-top box will include a remote that combines a mini-keyboard, remote control and touch screen. Logitech also has free remote apps for iPhone and Android, and this image shows the different kinds of controls that can be used. Sony's remote control plans are not as clear-cut.

Any other phone integration?

Android phone owners will be able to control the TV with voice searches and push videos that they're watching on the phone onto the television.

Can I watch movies and shows stored on other local media?

At the very least, I hope Google TV's future support for Android apps will allow streaming from networked computers and media centers, but I can't find any remarks from Google, Logitech or Sony on this topic.

How much will Google TV cost?

Pricing is still a mystery. For context, consider that Apple TV costs US$99, and the upcoming Boxee Box, another Internet TV device that uses its own interface to pull in Web content, will cost $200 when it arrives in November.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MotorolaapplicationstivotvsoftwarelogitechsonyGoogle TVvideoHDTVGoogleHome Theater

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?