Advanced Television

Update for Google TV

October 31, 2011

By Colin Mann

Admitting that the initial version of Google TV “wasn’t perfect”, Google has announced a software update aimed at providing a better user experience.

Writing in the Google TV blog, Mario Queiroz, Vice President Product Management, and Vincent Dureau, Director of Engineering, note that with over three billion views a day, sites such as YouTube are proving the demand for Web entertainment is already big, with this entertainment coming to the living room.

“The Google TV platform contributes to this evolution by enabling new content creators to add to the programming you already enjoy on your TV. Given so much choice, we’re committed to delivering the best way to discover and engage with the high-quality entertainment on your television, whether that comes from your cable or satellite provider (DISH, Comcast, DIRECTV, etc.) or from the Web (YouTube, Netflix, and thousands more). The initial version of Google TV wasn’t perfect, but launching it gave us the opportunity to learn. These are still early days, and we’re working hard to move forward with each update,” they say.

The software update focuses on four areas of user feedback:

“1. Keep it simple

The interface is now much simpler. The new customisable home screen gets you to your favorite content quickly. And within ‘all apps’ you can see all of your shortcuts, similar to your Android phone or tablet.

2. Make it easy to find something worth watching

We’ve improved search across the board for content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, and more. But what if you don’t know what to search for? There’s now an app called ‘TV & Movies’ that let’s you easily browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes across cable or satellite, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and many other sites. If you’ve opted in to recommendations, we can better predict what you want to watch next.

3. Make YouTube better on TV

We’re launching a new YouTube experience specifically built for Google TV. It is now fast and easy to get to your favourite HD-quality YouTube entertainment. And we’ve integrated YouTube more closely with Google TV search, so that you can turn virtually any topic – mountain biking, cooking, etc. – into a channel.

4. Bring more apps to TV

We are opening up the TV to the creativity of content creators large and small through Android Market. Android developers can now bring existing mobile apps or entirely new ones to TV. Initially, the number of apps won’t be large – apps requiring a touch screen, GPS, or telephony won’t show up – but 50 developers have seeded the Market with cool and useful apps for the TV. We’re excited to see the number of apps grow.”

This software update will be coming to Sony devices starting early week commencing October 31 and Logitech devices soon thereafter. “We look forward in the coming months to announcing new software updates as well as new devices on new chipsets from multiple hardware partners,” concludes the blog.


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