In preparation for the introduction of Google TV hardware from Logitech and Sony this week and next week, Google has launched a new Web site and blog to promote its attempt to marry the Internet and television.
The Google TV Web site offers a Google TV tour, a review of features, a spotlight section promoting Web sites designed for viewing on Google TV devices, a developer section, and ordering information.
Google TV will provide users with a single search interface on their televisions that will return search results from available TV content providers, the Web, and Android-based Google TV applications. Perhaps more significantly, it will provide third-party developers with a new Android-based app platform.
Google TV isn't yet commercially available but it will be soon. On Wednesday, October 6, in San Francisco, Logitech plans to launch the Logitech Revue, a video set-top box that provides Google TV service to a connected HDTV. On Tuesday, October 12, in New York City, Sony plans to introduce its line of Bravia Internet TVs and Blu-ray players with built-in Google TV support.
Google first disclosed plans to launch Google TV in May at its developer conference. The company has said that it intends to release an Android-based Google TV SDK in February, 2011. The SDK will allow developers to create apps for Google's Android Market that run on Google TV devices.
In the introductory post on the Google TV blog, Ambarish Kenghe, development product manager for Google TV, says that Google's goal with Google TV is to "finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers."
Google's goal is also to grow its portion of the $70 billion spent annually on TV advertising in the U.S.
Toward that end, Kenghe announced a series of new content partners for Google TV: Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, HBO, and the NBA. Google TV will also support Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix, and will offer TV-based apps for several music and news sites, includnig The New York Times, Napster, Pandora, and Twitter. In addition, it's likely to enable new usage scenarios and revenue opportunities for Web sites that have been optimized for Google TV.
Google and its Android partners may also see their legal bills grow. Not only is Oracle suing Google over Android, but Microsoft on Friday filed a lawsuit against Motorola alleging that the mobile phone company's use of Android infringes upon its patents.
Google TV won't immediately change the economics of TV. Premium content like HBO shows won't suddenly be available at no charge. But in time, if free Web content and Google TV apps siphon viewers from subscription-based content, revenue models may have to be rethought.