Google TV is a software platform intended to run on set-top boxes, HDTVs, and even Blu-Ray players and possibly other hardware. It is based on the Android operating system and is being co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech. The project was officially announced by Google and its partners on May 20, 2010. As of today, most TVs that offer web access only offer web-based apps to access online content (for example, Panasonic has Viera Cast). There is usually only limited Internet usage such as playing a video from YouTube or viewing photos from Picasa. However, since Google TV will use the Google Chrome web browse—along with Adobe Flash—users will not only be able to search the Web, but also view online video content in a way similar to what currently exists on desktop computers and some mobile devices.
The Google TV system will also include an open-source platform that will enable developers to create widgets for the system. Upon launching the service, Google stated that it would be updating the Android operating system to facilitate the development of web applications specifically for Google TV. Also, as a result of using Android as the OS, all Android apps that do not use phone-specific hardware (camera, microphone, etc.) will run on a Google TV with no modifications, meaning that the product will have over 30,000 apps available at launch.
It is anticipated that Google TV will have fewer user restrictions than current systems. The Google TV platform is expected to allow users to access any website from their television, with support for services such as YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, and Hulu in particular. If implemented successfully, many believe that this system may initiate the growth of Interactive Television (ITV) and enhance the way viewers interact with live and on-demand media programs.


The much anticipated new Bravia line of TVs, which Sony plans to unveil on October 12th, will be the first Google TV-integrated televisions and will include the Google Chrome web browser along with Adobe Flash Player 10.1. Having Flash built-in is a huge advantage because it allows just about any video on the web to be played from the user's TV. Every Google TV system will come with a remote that has a QWERTY keyboard included. Furthermore, if you own an Android phone, you will be able to configure the phone to be used as a remote as well. Google TV will have a search bar, much like TiVo, in order to make it easier to find a specific show.
Some TV sets will come with Google TV pre-installed. while with other TVs you will have the option of purchasing a separate box. One unique feature of Google TV is that you are able to watch TV and browse the web at the same time without stopping playback. This ability to multitask is an advantage over Apple TV because they will most likely not have this feature on their TV system. Google TV also plans to contend with Apple TV by offering over 50,000 apps to choose from (some will be free, others will require payment).
Google itself is already delivering content specifically for Google TV and other comapnies are sure to follow their lead if Google TV becomes popular. YouTube Lean Back, for example, is a streamlined version of YouTube that is optimized for the big screen experience. Other ideas, such as the possibility of videoconferencing, have been considered and suggested by potential customers as killer features. The potential of turning the TV into a computer is endless.
Google has already inked deals with various partners including Sony, Logitech, Dish Network, Intel and Best Buy.

Related Links:

Google TV: everything you ever wanted to know--Gizmodo
Google Introduces Google TV, New Android OS--Wired News
Interactive television--Wikipedia