Q. What is Google TV?
A. Google TV is an open platform for TV-related devices that brings together the best of TV and the best of the web to deliver the premier entertainment experience for the living room. It is built on Android and runs the Google Chrome web browser.
Q. What does it mean for the developer community?
A. The Google TV platform will bring developers into the living room. Web developers can start taking advantage of the big TV screen as soon as products hit shelves this fall. In the future, the Google TV platform will allow developers to navigate TV content. Android developers will not only have access to most of the Android APIs currently available but also to Google TV-specific API extensions that tap into the power of TV. We will have more details later this year.
Q. When will Google TV be available?
A. Google TV devices will go on sale in fall 2010.
Q. Will Google TV work if I don’t subscribe to paid TV service?
A. You don’t need a set top box for Google TV to work. However, a set top box and service is required to access your TV feed.
Q. Does Google TV require Bluetooth support? Can I use Bluetooth keyboards and game pads with the devices announced?
A. Google TV will come with its own input device. In the future, other input devices may be created and used with Google TV.
Q. When will the SDK add-on for Google TV be available to developers?
A. The SDK add-on with Google TV-specific extensions will be available a few months after first product availability.
Q. Can I download Google TV? When will it be open sourced?
A. No, Google TV is only available pre-installed on Sony TVs and blu-ray players, as well as Logitech companion boxes. We are working hard to open source the code for the Google TV project, and hope to release the source code next year.
Here's some of what Engadget had to say:
The basic facts
Google TV isn't a single product -- it's a platform that will eventually run on many products, from TVs to Blu-ray players to set-top boxes. The platform is based on Android, but instead of the Android browser it runs Google's Chrome browser as well as a full version of Flash Player 10.1. That means Google TV devices can browse to almost any site on the web and play video -- Hulu included, provided it doesn't get blocked. It also means that Google TV devices can run almost all Android apps that don't require phone hardware. You'll still need to keep your existing cable or satellite box, however -- most Google TV devices won't actually have any facility for tuning TV at launch, instead relying on your existing gear plugged in over HDMI to do the job. There's a lot of potential for clunkiness with that kind of setup, so we'll have to see how it works in person.
All Google TV devices will have remotes with some form of QWERTY keyboard, and you'll be able to use Android phones as remotes as well. Using an Android phone opens up some extremely intriguing possibilities, like searching for content using Google Voice Search and navigating by gesture, but it's not clear how deep the integration between Android on Google TV and Android on phones will be at launch.
PartnersIf you're interested in more info, Google TV: everything you ever wanted to know.
Google's not going into the living room alone -- the company's launching Google TV with an impressive array of partners, each of whom has a different spin on the platform. Here's the list:
- Sony plans to build BRAVIA Internet TVs and Blu-ray players that run the platform, all expected to launch this fall.
- Logitech is building a Google TV "companion box" that can control your entire A/V rack using Harmony technology, using and Android phone or an iPhone as the remote.
- Dish Network was actually the beta test partner, but we don't specifically know what its plans are -- there's no hardware right now, and Google demoed the platform using a custom IP protocol to control a Dish receiver. We're guessing that means there's no custom hardware coming, but look for Google TV-ready Dish boxes sometime in the fall as well.
- Adobe's obviously building Flash 10.1 for the platform.
- Intel's making the Atom CE4100 chip that's used in all these devices -- it's actually kind of a burner. More on it later on.
- Best Buy has partnered to sell Google TV devices in its stores, so there's going to be a big retail push