CONTROLLED BY PHONE: Google TV is built on the Android OS, so your Android phone will work as a remote control. This opens up a range of possibilities for app makers – take a picture of an actor with Google Goggles to instantly view them on IMDB, for instance. We’re most excited about the prospect of Google Voice search letting you speak into your phone to find a show. Now that’s what we always imagined watching TV in the future would be like.
HD WEB-VIDEO RECORDING: Intel’s Atom CE4100 is at the heart of the Sony Bluray players and TVs, and Logitech set-top boxes that are planned. It can decode dual 1080p video streams, meaning you can save one while watching another.
TRUE MOBILE TV: Sony’s making compatible Blu-ray players and TVs, with Sony and Google also said to be collaborating on new cloud-based mobile and personal devices. Could we see a Sony tablet running Google TV?
VIDEO CONFERENCING: As well as Sony and Intel, Logitech is a partner so look out for its Google TV-enabled set-top boxes. It’s also believed to be making webcams to integrate video conferencing into the system. So if you work from home you can stay in touch from the comfort of your own couch. Just remember to tidy the lounge first.
ADVANCED SEARCH: Search for a show and it won’t just display upcoming episodes; you’ll get past ones, biographies and filmographies of the cast, trivia, forthcoming appearances, memorable quotes, and extra clips on YouTube. It’ll be like constantly updating DVD extras, collated in one place, for free.
AN APPETITE FOR APPS: Unlike the web TV efforts of Panasonic, Samsung and others, Android is open to developers, so expect to see an explosion of apps, along with a new version of Android Market for your telly. Your set may be able to run standard Android apps that don’t require an accelerometer or GPS.
ONLINE VIDEO: Running Google’s Chrome browser and Flash 10.1, Google TV will be able to play just about any video on the web, with no iPadstyle incompatibility issues. Chrome means full browsing too, so you can check emails, read the news and even play Flash games on your TV – none of which you could do with previous TV widgets.