Google TV - Android and Chrome headed for your living room

Google TV has finally been announced, bringing the Android OS and Google Chrome to HD TVs and set-top boxes. With Google TV kit incoming from Sony and Logitech and Intel providing the processor, rivals like Apple TV and Project Canvas should be worried. Can Google TV take over your living room?

Google TV will arrive running Android and packing the Google Chrome browser and give you to access a familiar package of channels along with the web and apps. The platform will be able to run new Android apps as well as web apps from the Google Chrome Web Store.

The processor powering the Google TV hardware with be the Intel Atom CE4100, the silicon maker’s latest system-on-a-chip, which it claims will deliver home cinema style performance. Meanwhile Sony has stepped up to make the first Google TV-packing set.

The Sony Internet TV is due to arrive in the US in the autumn along with a set-top box with a built-in Blu-ray drive. Logitech is working on a companion box that’ll add Google TV to existing HDTVs and set-top boxes. It’ll feature a controller with Logitech Harmony universal remote tech and a built-in keyboard that sounds a little like the Boxee remote we loved.

Google plans to roll out the Google TV service to the rest of the world sometime in early 2011. No details on pricing for the Sony Internet TV or the other Google TV devices have been announced yet. Google’s strategy is to up search revenues by putting its services at the heart of millions of living rooms as well as expanding the reach of its TV ad-brokering business.

We’ve seen Facebook, Twitter and Youtube brought to TVs before with services like Samsung’s Internet@TV and Yahoo! Connected TV plus plenty of web-enabled Freeview and Freesat boxes. But Google TV seems to be shooting for something more ambitious with its plans to slam the worlds of the web and traditional TV together in a single interface.

Google will open source the Google TV platform so other manufacturers are sure to jump on the bandwagon imminently. A Samsung Google TV has already been hinted at and we’d be surprised if we didn’t see Toshiba and LG staking a claim on a piece of the action too.

Now Google TV has emerged from the labs and is headed for the living room, you can also expect Apple to take another look at Apple TV and stop looking at it as “a hobby”.  The search giant has stuck its straw right into Apple’s milkshake and Steve Jobs won’t be happy.

Let us know: Are you excited about the prospect of Google TV? Or will it just be one more box to choose from?

Due 2011 | £TBC | Google TV

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