Media observers used to claim that television would one day be beaten back by the internet. Over the next few weeks, their worries will be laid to rest. Google will be launching Google TV, a new kind of television, complete with apps to make TV viewing an interactive experience.
Soon fans will be able to Tweet about Glee and blog about baseball, live, for the world to see. Rather than eliminate TV, Google is integrating it, and even they don’t fully realize the potential of this, or as they say, “The coolest thing about Google TV is that we don’t even know what the coolest thing about it will be.”
For now, Google is lining up content partnerships with Amazon, Netflix, Napster, and Twitter, but also with independent content providers, such as HBO, NBC Universal, the NBA and Turner Broadcasting. They are also in negotiations with major film studios, and once they launch, more content providers are sure to jump aboard.
It also promises to be an open software platform. What this means is that content providers will be able to create their own apps to promote and monetize their offerings, but also that individuals will a cool idea will be able to do the same thing, keeping Google TV competitive with Apple.
Then there is the possibility of incorporating video chat into your 50-inch TV screen. This will not only make it easier to speak to Mom, but provide an inexpensive platform for businesses to host international meetings and provide a real sense of being there.
As Google readily admits, even they are not fully aware of how this will revolutionize television. Two things are definite though. Television isn’t going anywhere yet, and TV viewing will never be the same.
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