So is your computer monitor becoming a television, or is your television becoming a computer? The two worlds continue to merge as Google TV is set to launch this fall in the United States. Eric Schmidt, giving the closing keynote speech at IFA in Berlin, said that Google TV would be rolled out worldwide beginning in 2011. IFA is the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world.
Google is clearly willing to compete directly with Apple in the computer/home entertainment mash-up. Apple announced their new $99 set-top box last week. Google plans to turn televisions into supersized web browsers with its offering, and is in discussion with music and video content providers.
While Google is working directly with Sony and Intel to bring Google-powered TV to your living room by 2010's end, Samsung is considering another partnership with Google: Android-powered HDTV. Half of Samsung's 3-D televisions are already capable of internet web-surfing. 3-D television was introduced to the US this March.
Samsung President Yoon Boo Keun, speaking with journalists at a Seoul forum, commented, "We will have to see, but we are reviewing," when asked about using the Android OS as a user interface for their future televisions. One of his concerns was whether content providers in South Korea, including the film, television, and music industries, would also cooperate with Google.
Meanwhile Google will be developing Android further to work with Google TV as well as smartphones, an attractive proposition to television manufacturers who want their products to do more than show video and play music via cable or DVD.