Today at Google IO, Google has announced the Google TV platform. It will start right up in Television instead of into a specific interface. It can change channels, access your DVR, and even access the original guide. You can use your own remote or use a new remote control that Google will offer.
The hardware itself will include TV sets, blu-ray players, companion set boxes. Will work with any existing cable or satellite box. There are 4 key components: WiFi/ethernet, you existing cable/satellite via HDMI, it comes with an IR blaster to control your other components, and a special IP protocol for Dish network boxes. The boxes will have powerful CPU and GPU and support HD content. The processor will be the Intel Atom.
All input devices will require both a keyboard and a pointing device. Or, yes, you can just use your Android Phone. Since Android supports voice input, you can voice search for television shows(!). You can also 'send' web pages you have on your Android device to your television. They will publish the remote control protocol so 3rd party developers can make remote apps.
The Google TV is built off Android 2.1 (will update later). The browser is Google Chrome. It includes a full Flash 10.1 plugin for Chrome. Android Apps will also be usable on the TV since it's built on Android - though that feature doesn't look like it will be available at launch.
Hardware partners include Sony with TVs and Blu-ray players, Logitech with companion boxes. Coming in Fall 2010. Google is also partnered with Dish network, so they'll get the best experience. Best Buy will be selling it all.
More details after the break! Update: Google has released a demo video, it's after the break!
Google will offer a new and improved 'guide' that is easier to navigate, they wanted to make TV as easy to navigate as the web. So they simply offered a search box that will search both TV and web. You can search for a channel, a show, and more. If you search for your favorite show, you can set it to record directly from the quick search box.
You can also search the "Series result" for content on TV and also TV on the web. You can search free sites (like the network sites) or Amazon VOD to download and watch the episode.
The TV switches seamlessly from Television to a web browser. They are also hoping to make content more discoverable. They will offer Amazon VOD and Netflix directly from the quick launcher:
The Quick Launcher also has "suggestions" of content for you to watch based on your viewing history. You can also set bookmarks from the web and visit them.
You can go directly to YouTube.com as usual - or any web page, actually, without reformatting it. Basically they are offering a straight-up web browser on your TV combined with a Quick Search box.
You can also put the TV you're watching into Picture-in-Picture mode so you can search the web as you're watching TV