What's the future of television entertainment in the living room? If you think it's giant boxes owned by giant corporations with giant price tags for service, then you probably work for the local cable company. If you've realized that video entertainment is moving to the a la carte internet style then welcome to the 21st century, it's pretty neat here.
Google TV is one of those products that you keep telling yourself you should purchase, but you probably won't, that is until basically any TV you want to buy comes with it built-in and ready for service. That appears to be Google's game plan for their entertainment system, and they're ready to make some big partnership announcements this year at CES in Las Vegas. There will still be device's on display from Vizio, LG, and Sony, but this year we can expect to also see Asus, Hisense, TCL, and others that aren't yet confirmed.
If you're not yet familiar with Google TV or its abilities, here's a quick breakdown:
- YouTube – You can watch YouTube videos directly from your Google TV connected device or TV. Watching YouTube on the big screen doesn't always translate into awesome quality, but as more popular videos are released in HD it's a diminishing issue.
- Google Play – Play Android apps on your TV, browse their music and movie selection, and have access to your own Google Play library.
- Chrome – That's right, built-in browser on your TV. That's nothing new, and there are other services that offer basically the same thing, but it's always appreciated.
- Voice Search – Android users are very familiar with voice search, and it's also available in Google TV. Search for movies, shows, YouTube videos or just general search terms for the web. Another great part of this feature is that you don't even have to know the name of what you're searching for, because much like in a traditional text search Google is very adept at figuring out just exactly what you were searching for without all the details.
- PrimeTime – PrimeTime is your own personalized content management system that brings in content from all the Google TV services and puts them in one place just for you. Everything is catered to your previous viewing or browsing history and Google does a good job bringing you content you would genuinely be interested in viewing. Similar to the 'Suggested for You' system in Netflix, but with a much larger pool of choices.
Here's a video from Google to give you a better idea of what they're offering: