It’s been rumoured for quite a while, but yesterday Google officially unveiled Google TV, bringing the Android OS and Google Chrome to HD TVs and set-top boxes.
The idea is to bring the best of the internet and Google’s operating system to your living room, making it easier to combine web and traditional TV sources to find the shows you want to watch. You’ll have access to a full unrestricted web browser with Google TV, as well as apps from the Google Chrome web store.
Google TV will be powered by an Intel Atom CE4100 “system-on-a-chip” processor, which Google claim will be able to produce home cinema style levels of performance. Sony have signed on to make the first batch of Google HD TVs, while Logitech are working on a companion box and universal remote to give existing TVs similar functionality.
Though there are now plenty of internet connected TVs and services, such as Samsung’s Internet@TV and the Cello iViewer, few have been as ambitious as Google’s plans to put the web and apps at the heart of your living room. With the platform set to be open source, it’d be unsurprising to see many TV manufacturers experiment with Google TV in the near future.
No word on pricing yet, but expect an early 2011 release date for the first batch of Google TVs. Steve Jobs must be looking at his Apple TV unit and sighing pretty heavily right now.