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What is Google TV?

Google TV: It’s slapping the word “Google” onto another word, right? Like Google Voice, Google Wave, Google Docs, Google Treadmill, and so on (yeah, there isn’t a Google Treadmill…yet).

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Google TV is a merging of Web Avenue and Television Drive. It’s a software platform, rather than a piece of hardware, so it’ll take adoption by manufacturers before you see a search bar on your 40-inch flatscreen. But when it does happen, it’ll be pretty cool.


Google TV greets users with the aforementioned search bar, and that’s all. And…you…search. For what? For a channel, and Google TV will take you to that channel. For a show, and Google TV will take you to a results page of places to view it. For a clip, and Google TV will find it, from the Internet, and push it directly to your set.

But there’s more: Google TV will leverage existing Google assets and abilities. Have an Android OS phone? Load a website on it and with a flick, you’ll be able to push it from the tiny screen to the big one. One of the legitimately awesome demos shown used Google Translation to convert foreign language subtitles to English on the fly.

It’s a pretty ambitious package, but keep in mind Thursday’s announcement was just that: an announcement. So far, Logitech, Sony and Dish are on-board to support the technology, with products in the pipeline. Plenty of sites will look like they were thrown through a pixelate Photoshop filter, and Google doesn’t plan to launch a Software Development Kit, or SDK, until next year. And then there’s the million-dollar question: Will it work as advertised? Or go down the path increasingly obvious rival Apple’s Apple TV did? We’ll find out sometime in the near future.

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