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Google Set to Bow ‘Smart TV’

19 May, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Google, together with Sony and Intel, reportedly will announce plans to incorporate Internet-based software into a set-top box that would allow users to control programming on their television and Web-enabled devices, including Blu-ray Disc players.

Dubbed “Smart TV,” the Android-based platform would attempt to usurp Apple’s little used eponymous Apple TV platform to gain traction in what many observers believe will soon be burgeoning demand for user-access-and-control of Web-based entertainment and movies on the TV, according to media reports.

Users could theoretically toggle between YouTube videos, Netflix movie streams, Amazon video-on-demand (VOD), Vudu, Blockbuster On Demand, etc. The platform would enter a growing market that features Internet-enabled media devices such as the Roku player, a pending Boxee set-top box, TiVo and Apple TV.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search behemoth will disclose further specifics of the platform, among other news, at its annual developers confab through May 20 in San Francisco.

Logitech is reportedly developing a remote for Smart TV, including a virtual keyboard, according to Bloomberg

Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who characterized video as “the driver” for Internet traffic during a May 11 analyst call, also hinted at the existence of “Smart TV.”

“The television revolution we are about to go through is the single biggest change in TV since it went [to] color,” Otellini said.

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