Google Tv: The 411

What do you get when you fuse a search engine to a television? Google has the answer with Google TV. The platform allows users to simultaneously browse through apps, channels and the world wide web. So what can people expect with Google TV?

First, the basics. There are two ways to get Google TV. The platform can operate over both a standalone TV with HDTV built in or a set top box that is already connected to an HDTV. It’s already built into the company’s web browser (Google Chrome) and their tablet/mobile phone operating system (Android). And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The search engine giant has partnered with a myriad of online TV technology innovators. Rovi, Jinni, Sony, Intel and Logitech are just a few of the companies that have the platform built into their devices. Dish Network subscribers can access DVR and recording features via an on screen search bar. Simply typing in the name of a show in the search bar gives users a listing for future programs on any channel as well as the option to record or stream those shows on Hulu or Amazon.

Another feature allows users to multitask their TV and internet needs onto one monitor. In short, the web becomes another channel. The phone? Android and iPhone owners can use their phones as remote controls. If users find something they want to share on the web, they can “fling” it onto their television. They can also speak commands to their TV like “The Office” or “How I Met Your Mother” and the appropriate show will come on. A potentially intriguing sub-features is the platforms ability to automatically translate subtitles using Google’s language services. Users can instantaneously create subtitles translated from the broadcast language to whichever other language they prefer.

Finally, Google TV also borrows a smartphone feature by bringing the world of apps to television. The company is assisting developers construct the next generation of apps through Google Developer Tools. And since it’s already built into Android, existing (Android) apps in (Android) Marketplace will work on Google TV without porting.

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