It looks like those rumors about Google TV struggling to sign up partners were, well, just rumors. It isn’t to say every hurdle is behind them, but today they announced a handful of partners who have signed on for the enhanced experience, which if anything should get other major players on board.
So whose in?
- Turner Broadcasting has been hard at work optimizing some of their most popular websites for viewing on Google TV, including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, available anytime through Google TV.
- NBC Universal has collaborated with Google TV to bring CNBC Real-Time, an application that allows you to track your favorite stocks and access news feeds while enjoying the best financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.
- HBO will bring access to hundreds of hours of programming to Google TV with HBO GO. Authenticated subscribers will soon be able to access all of their favorite HBO content on-demand in an enhanced website for Google TV.
- NBA has built NBA Game Time, an application that lets you follow game scores in real-time and catch up on the latest highlights from your favorite team in HD
But that’s not all. They’ve also secured a deal with Amazon Video On Demand and more importantly Netflix (yes, you can wipe the sweat of your brow).
Since you can view the Web on Google TV, they’ve also been working with a few players to deliver an enhanced experience, which includes The New York Times and USA Today. Additionally, there will be a variety of apps to download, such as Pandora, VEVO, Napster and others. Come next year developers will be able to create their own apps, which sounds an awful lot like Boxee. Boy if I was them, I’d be scared.
Here’s a video of Google TV apps:
So what is Google TV? It’s more than a piece of hardware. In fact, they’re not even building the box, they’re just providing the software. Logitech is set to sell the Revue, which will power pretty much any HDTV with Google TV and Google is working on licensing the tech (they’ve signed on Sony), much like Android, to manufactures who will integrate it directly into the set or cable boxes (they’ve already got a deal with DISH that works in tandem with Logitech’s Revue).
For a very rudimentary explanation you can think of Google TV as a search engine that lets you find any show you want, any where – Net or cable. It also enables you to surf the Web and when applicable provides an enhanced viewing experience when they’ve got a deal in place with a media partner.
In terms of features you’ll be able to search for shows, control the experience directly from you Android phone, view pictures, transfer what you’re viewing on your phone to the TV (they call this “Fling”), access a variety of apps (Napster, Pandora, etc), browse the web and watch TV at the same time (think sports game with sports scores in the background) and create a customizable home page with your fave shows/sites/apps.
We still don’t know the launch date, but rumors point to an October release.