The goal of the platform, said senior product manager Rishi Chandra, is to offer the "best of what TV has to offer today, and the best of what the Web has to offer today." However, closer analysis of what is known about Google TV so far suggests that the firm has some work to do if its new platform is to live up to that promise.
Google TV consists of a modified version of the open-source Android mobile phone operating system. It's designed to run on Internet-connected set-top boxes and high-definition televisions. The platform was developed in collaboration with Sony, Logitech, and chipmaker Intel, which is supplying relatively powerful Atom processors--chips already used in some laptop computers--for Google TV hardware. The hardware announced so far consists of two kinds of devices: Sony televisions and a set-top box made by Logitech. Both will be available in Best Buy stores in the fall.
Google TV users will be able to search for video by typing on a wireless keyboard, or speaking into a connected Android mobile phone. Results could include live TV broadcasts, places to view the show online like Netflix or Amazon, or future broadcasts to be set to record on DVR. Google TV devices will also run the Chrome browser and will be able to play Flash video from across the Web.