Internet on Your Television Returns in Style: Google TV

 

There have been a lot of poor attempts to put the internet on a television. The first attempts were limited by dialup internet and the CRT technology televisions used to use. Low bandwidth and low screen resolution never makes a good combo. Attempts after that have not been popular because let’s face it, internet on a television has traditionally been a pretty clunky experience and most people have laptops now. However, Google is moving forward on the success of its Android OS for smartphones and now wants to have a permanent spot in your living room. Welcome to Google TV.

As with Android, Google is simply making the software technology behind the hardware. This means that manufacturers can build pretty much any type of Google TV they want as long as it can run Google’s software. The pitfall of this is that some pretty dreadful Google TV compatible devices will probably make their way into your local electronics store in the near future.

Right now, there are three different Google TV powered devices (Google TV is based on Android by the way). You have the option of buying a new television with Google TV built in, a Blu-ray player with the technology, or you can just get a standalone unit to plug into your current TV. It is nice to see options, since if you are in the market for a new TV anyway, Sony’s new line of Internet TVs come with Google TV look pretty nice. (Do look carefully at the specs though, since their screen refresh rate is only 60 Hz at the moment.) If you already have a TV you are happy with, Logitech’s Revue—the current standalone model available—might be worth looking at.

However, since Sony also does have a Blue-ray player with Google TV for only $100 more than Logitech’s unit which lacks such a feature (Logitech’s does have video chat abilities however), if you haven’t upgraded from your trusty DVD player yet, definitely take a look at it. I am still sorting through all the features each have and will be writing a side by side by side comparison of all three options tomorrow. It’s a pretty close race at the moment and the competition will only heat up as other companies jump on board.

Right now, it looks like Apple’s new Apple TV has been outgunned. As to whether or not Google TV catches on remains to be seen, but Android has, and this is starting to look like Android for your TV. Anyone else excited? Let me know if you’re interested in Google TV and thinking of checking out one of the three current options. More devices are sure to come out soon and I am sure both Sony and Logitech will be refining their offerings in the near future.

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