Google unveils its TV plans

The search giant gives more details about its new 'Google TV' service, which it plans to launch this fall.

By Kim Peterson Sep 7, 2010 3:17PM

Blank TV © Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStockGoogle (GOOG) said it will launch a free service this fall that lets people browse the Web on their televisions, joining a growing crowd of companies fighting for a piece of the living room.

The company is working with television-set makers to add "Google TV" to new sets, and has so far signed Sony (SNE) as a partner, Reuters reported. Samsung is also considering the plan.

"Once you have Google television, you're going to be very busy," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt Tuesday as he demonstrated the product in Berlin, according to Wired. "It's going to ruin your evening."

The idea behind Google TV is that in the future, all TVs will have Internet access. If televisions can get to the Web, users will surely be searching on Google from the sofa.

But Google wants more than that. Google TV will likely have its own remote control and keyboard. And when you push the "search" button, a box appears that lets you browse the Web or watch TV shows, online video clips and other content, Wired reports.

 

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For example, say you wanted to search for "Star Trek." Wired reports that a Google TV search would show you old TV episodes of the show, video clips from the Web, websites devoted to the show and the option to rent a "Star Trek" movie on demand.

It's no coincidence that Google is reportedly planning to offer full-length movie rentals on YouTube soon.

Google's announcement comes on the heels of Apple's (AAPL) new Apple TV service, which offers rentals of movies and shows through a small device that connects to the TV.

Other companies that are working feverishly to conquer the same territory include Netflix (NFLX), Microsoft (MSFT), TiVo (TIVO) and Amazon (AMZN). (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.)
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