Most people by now have probably heard that Google has entered another realm and are now poised to take over the television world. While that is clearly an overstatement, Google TV has made quite a splash in the home entertainment industry by combining the Internet and regular old broadcast television, on, well, your television. Your flat screen HDTV, to be precise.
What Google has done is integrate its Chrome web browser with live television broadcasts and gadgets similar to those on smart phones. The result is a product that allows users to switch between watching broadcast television and browsing the Internet all on their big screen television sets.
Google makes this happen via Google enabled television sets or attached devices, which means if you want Google TV you have to buy a buy a Google enabled television set, a Google set top box, or a Google enabled device such as a Blue Ray player. Regardless of which device you buy, it’ll come equipped with a special keyboard for manipulating onscreen menus and typing in words in the web browser. And of course for switching between screens.
And speaking of screens, the main one is the backdrop for the whole system; it’s where the gadgets live. And the gadgets are actually little more than a way to quickly click on something you want to watch. You can have a gadget for CNN, for example. Click on it, and you are switched to broadcast mode, on the correct channel for CNN. Or you can set up a gadget, for example, that takes you to the latest episode “Modern Family” on Hulu, a web application, of course.
All in all, the whole point of Google TV is to make it so that you can use your flat screen television for watching both Internet and broadcast content, in a quick, easy, and seamless fashion.
Initial reviews for Google TV have been mixed. Some claim it’s not quite ready for prime time just yet, while others say it’s more of a path to the future of entertainment. We’ve all expected television and the Internet to mingle at some point, and we’ve all expected it would be similar to the images of television in the future we’ve seen in Hollywood movies for several decades now, and this step by Google, seems to be finally leading us there.
It won’t be long before our television screen will be our main Internet access point, the place where we watch content that is broadcast live, or is taped delayed; or where we go to talk to people via Skype, or listen to our favorite music. In short, it won’t be long before television, the Internet and the telephone, all become one single entity that we all collectively call something that hasn’t become a standard yet, but that might just turn out be, Google.