Google TV to get another push at Google I/O

Google TV’s growth might be slow, but it’s definitely not dead, especially since newer partners like LG and Vizio jumped onboard earlier in the year. Google I/O is all about development, and from looking at the lineup of sessions, Google really wants to show developers the benefits of Google TV apps.

I’m still a believer in Google TV so I’m hoping sessions like “Bring Your App To The Big Screen”, “Get Your Content On Google TV” and “Command and Control in Your Living Room: Building Second Screen App for Google TV” will spur developers into implementing some really special stuff.

I still think they need more standalone set top boxes. We know Vizio has one on the horizon, but they still haven’t announced a date. Maybe we will find out more at I/O, and hopefully it will at least have DLNA capabilities, which was lacking with the Logitech Revue.

source: engadget

 

Kickstarter Project Pocket TV Makes Your TV Smart With Android 4.0 [Video]

Smart TV set top boxes, as well as full-on integrated Smart TV sets, are becoming very popular these days. But how do you make your existing TV smart without adding another bulky box to your entertainment center? Kickstarter project Pocket TV could be the answer.

Pocket TV is a small computer running Android 4.0, with an HDMI output to connect to your TV or monitor. It supports 1080p output, Wi-Fi, has 4GB of storage, a microSD slot, and is small enough to fit in your hand. It has a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor, 512MB RAM, and a USB port for connecting a keyboard or external hard drive.

Since the device runs standard Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it behaves more like a giant touchless tablet. To get around the fact that your TV is not a touchscreen, the makers of Pocket TV have come up with an interesting way to control the device. While a standard IR remote will work, as will a smartphone remote app, you also have the option to use their Air Remote, which is basically a keyboard about the size of a phone, with gyroscopic controls. Wave it around to control the screen, like a Wii.

This novel device already passed its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter with 31 days left, so things are looking good for this to ship in October. Get your Pocket TV and Air Remote bundle for pitching in $135 now, or wait until it’s released and pay $190.

Hit the break for a demo video.

Google Expands Mystery ‘Personal Communications Device’ Testing to August

 

While we’ve learned very little about Google’s “Mystery Device” since we first heard about it in February, more details have just emerged about when we may expect to see it.  According to a recent FCC filing, Google has asked permission to extend its testing period into August (it was July) before finally filing for an FCC review.  The device is being tested by Google employees in their homes in 4 cities around the US.  Because an FCC filing usually means a device release is imminent, it’s a safe bet to say we’re going to hear about it at Google I/O later this month.  Details have been hard to come by, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Google calls it a “Personal Communication Device”.
  • It has GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an AC adapter.
  • It’s portable and streams data/content
  • It can be disabled remotely.

Since these little tidbits describe most consumer electronics these days, it’s hard to say exactly what this device will do or what form it may take.  We’re pretty sure that it’s not Project Glass related, as everything we know about Google’s magic glasses indicates it is still much earlier in the development phase.  More likely is some sort of media hub/Google TV device that could bridge the gap between TVs and Android phones and tablets, perhaps in a move to head-off  rumors of a certain fruit flavored company entering the television market.  It may also contain some Android @Home features which we’ve heard about before, but have yet to see in any real devices.

source: FCC (2)
via: InformationWeek

Logitech Revue gets Android 3.2 update with many bug fixes

Yesterday we announced Sony TV’s with Google TV were getting an update, but as far as the Logitech Revue is concerned, news would be coming. After the very long wait for the 3.1 update late last year, I wasn’t expecting anything too soon. Well Logitech surprised me with the 3.2 update. It’s live now and it contains a lot of fixes. It’s rolling out in stages and they have promised that all Revues will be updated by the end of the week. Hit the break for the full changelog.

Google TV Platform Ready For Evolution, New Set-Top Boxes Will Stream Content From Smartphones And Tablets

 

Google TV continues to evolve at a pace faster than we can keep up. As you may already be familiar, Apple’s AirPlay allows owners of Apple TV devices to wirelessly stream content from Apple TV stations to iOS devices. Google has (finally) caught wind of this much-needed technology for its Android platform and has teamed up with set-top box manufacturer Honeywld to usher in a new feature for Google TV. While at Computex 2012, Google and Honeywld is currently displaying a new prototype Google TV box which will allow Android tablets and phones to push video and other content like photos to the set-top box, which allows a simple way for users to get content onto their TVs. Achieving this feat is rather simple too as all users need to do is install a special app on their devices which would allow the same devices to sync up with the set top box.

The set top box is not only real and on its way, but it comes fully loaded with nice features too. The box will feature a Marvell dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 4GB of flash memory, 1GB of RAM and oh yes— a heavy scoop of Ice Cream Sandwich. Honeywld should begin shipping the boxes in Taiwan around July and is expected to cost between $95 to $120, though there’s no word on if/when the boxes will arrive out here in the States at all. Here’s hoping the rest of us can get a taste of this much-improved Google TV box too.

source: IDG
via: The Verge

Sony Google TV Update Rolling Out Now, Logitech Revue Update News to Follow

Great news for you Google TV fans. The Google TV development team today took to their Google+ page to announce that they are pushing out a new software update to Sony Google TV units. The update will bring devices up to version 2.1.1 and will bring a few features along with it. You will now be able to rent and watch movies from the Play Store as well as watch YouTube movies from YouTube.com. Those of you who watch Google TV via the Logitech Revue aren’t so lucky. No update for us as of yet, but the Google TV dev team says that there should be some update information available soon. Let’s just hope we get the same treatment as the Sony customers do. Stay tuned.

source: Google+

 

 

[Deal] Get the Logitech Revue from Newegg for $73.99

With Google continuing its push into the TV market and not letting Google TV die it’s hard being an early adopter of new technology. The Logitech Revue is a prime example of an early adoption device that didn’t receive much fanfare. The once $299 device dropped to just $99 in hopes that the product would move. Well if you’re hesitant about Google TV and are not wanting to drop a serious chunk of change on a device then this deal might be for you. Newegg is selling a refurbished model of the Revue for just $73.99.

This box goes beyond Apple TV and the Roku media streaming option by packing in the ability to download apps, having a web browser and coming with a keyboard. It was knocked, however, for lacking support for Hulu and having a lack of app selection options. Netflix and Pandora seem to be the only highlight in regards to media sources.

The device was updated to Google TV 2.0 in hopes to remedy the fully admitted flop the device was. However even though it was reported that the device was sold out it’s still safe to say the device did not fair well. So why would you want one you ask? Well because it’s yet another Android device that can be tinkered with. I know that appeals to some Android fanatics out there. While I am waiting on the next batch of Google TV devices to arrive, it’s hard not to jump on this deal.

Sony & Google Team Up To Show Off New Google TV Box In Palo Alto

While Google continues to own the mobile platform, it’s not so hot in the realm of television services. That’s why it is starting over from scratch and re-designing the Google TV platform from the ground up by working on the evolution of Google TV. To help usher in the new line of Google TV devices, Google has partnered with Sony to create an informal event which was held in Palo Alto, California. The event was aimed at introducing the new generation of Google TV in the body of Sony Google TV products. The highlight of the day was Sony reps introducing a non-working prototype of the set-top box and a new generation remote as well. It looks as if Sony (and Google) were looking at evolving the look of Google TV devices, so they started by keeping the actual set-top box simple, yet adding a sleek appearance with a black finish in its design. The remote on the other hand is a tad bigger and features two faces: one side has the keyboard, while the other features a trackpad along with the standard remote buttons.

Google and Sony are staying mum by withholding any additional details for the future Google TV devices or sharing when it will be released. As of now, we have no information about pricing and we don’t know about a potential release date. So the recent event was more of a quick tease and heads up on the direction of both Sony and Google TV… which does look promising indeed I might add.

Make sure you hit the break to see a better glimpse of both the box and the remote.

 

LG Will Launch a Google TV in the U.S. Later This Month

 

I have long thought that this would be the year that Google TV made its push into the market as a strong contender for internet television products. Google has made it abundantly clear that it wants to be our home entertainment system and as companies continue to develop internet-enabled TVs with Google’s TV platform that may very well be the case. Well LG, the second largest tv maker in the world, has decided to throw its hat into the ring. Today it announced that it is launching a Google TV starting in the week of May 21st. Ro Seogho, Executive Vice President of LG’s TV Business Unit had this to say:

“Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 from our factory in Mexico and U.S. consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of May 21.”

This move appears to be an aggressive push by the company to get into the market early before Apple releases its rumored full-fledge Apple Television product later this year. Europe and Asia could see an LG Google television too depending on how well they sell in the U.S. Given Google TV’s ability to access many Google services such as YouTube and the ability to search right from your television screen it could do well if properly executed.

Google Refreshes TV and Movies App for Google TV

Google is doing everyone a favor today by refreshing its TV & Movies app for Google TV. The refresh is designed to make it easier to browse and find anything you are looking for, which should make it more useful. Now you no longer have to wonder if your favorite show has a new episode, thanks to expanded information below every program. You can also hop into a new menu to see more details, rate the program, and tell Google whether or not it fits your interests. If you happen to love a certain station, you can add it to your Favorite Channels in order to see everything currently playing on it. You can add as many stations as you want to Favorite Channels so you will always have quick access to the ones you care about most. You can also add favorite movies and TV shows to your queue in order to watch later.

After the app updates and you log in, you will be given the chance to rate a variety of TV shows and movies. Google then takes that feedback to better cater recommendations to your tastes, so drama fans will not have to be treated to too many comedies. Anyone will be able to check out the Trending This Week shelf in Shows to find a new series to watch, and the list is updated everyday so you will not miss out. Everything being added helps make Google TV the go-to choice for movies and TV shows, with new content added all the time.

Source: Google TV

Lenovo to begin Taking pre-orders in China for their New Line of Smart TVs

 

Lenovo has launched a Chinese website detailing their plans to begin taking pre-orders for their new smart TV product. Unfortunately this is only a test for China because Lenovo doesn’t have high expectations for their TVs just yet. Lenovo wants to test the market to see if the demand is there but I’m sure that they will see that in fact there is a demand, the question is will it be for their brand. Samsung has already taken the dive into the market and it was their commercial alone that made me go out and check out their new TV. It’s awesome, but that is so off track of what we were talking about. One of Lenovo’s TVs being listed is the 42-inch K71 which will retail for 6499 yuan ($1,029 U.S.) and is expected to go on sale by the end of the month.

All four models of the TVs are expected to run Android 4.0, have voice controls, run a 1.5 dual core processor, and have LCD screens in sizes of 42-inch and 55-inch. Three of the TVs are also to include flicker-free 3D capabilities. It should make some of your favorite Android games jump out at you. Pre-orders don’t begin until Tuesday, April 10th , which is only three days away.

The problem is, is that Samsung already has their hands deep in this market and they might be tough to compete against being as successful as they are. What do you think? Does Lenovo have a fighting chance in the smart TV arena? Let us know in the comments section below.

source: Shop Lenovo
via: PCWorld

Google TV Officially Arriving In Europe By September

You remember how we had a hunch Google TV would be available outside of the U.S.? Good news folks as news has gotten out that Sony France will be developing two variations of Google TV devices and launch them in September. The first is a set-top box which will go on sale for €200 ($266), whle the second will be a box with an integrated Blu-ray player that will sell for €300 ($399). Sony France marketing director  Stephane Labrousse highlights that while Sony Google TV devices are certain in France, it’s possible the devices could launch in Spain, Germany and the U.K at the same time. The devices won’t skimp on features either as it’s reported the Google TV boxes will feature items such as a Google Play button on their remote controls, giving direct access to Google’s app and content store and come with Sony’s own content offerings, including Music Unlimited.

See gang— good things comes to those who wait and are patient. Let’s just hope the price is right for consumers out in Europe.

source: Giga OM

 

Sony Unveils New Android Powered Set-Top Box

Some people may think Google TV is a dying technology, but like myself, apparently Sony feels it still has a fighting chance. Today in Singapore Sony unveiled a new Android powered Sony Bravia set-top box that runs Google TV 2.0. Not much as far as details were given at the Bravia event but we can guestimate a few features just by looking at the images. It’s obvious the device is Google Play certified and will run apps that are compatible with TV screens.

The set-top box also comes with a fairly unique two-sided remote, one for mouse/trackpad control and the other for keyboard use. Looking at the remote the first thing I see is the standard four color Playstation buttons leading me to believe the remote is Bluetooth ready and will most likely work with the Sony Playstation and other Sony devices. The remote also has DVR buttons and a 3D button meaning the box could be 3D ready/capable out of the gate.

No word on pricing or availability but in order to be competitive with Boxee and Roku it shouldn’t be more than the $100 price point. Jump past the break for a few more images.

Google TV Now Features International Channel Apps

 

Google TV is about to get some international flavor with the inclusion of international channel apps now being available in the Android Market Play Store. That means users of Google TV will now be able to access international feeds and content from such channels as Euronews, Raaga and al-Jazeera, so you’ll be able to see things such as breaking news, live and on-demand shows and music from around the world.

At this time the new addition to Google TV is currently available in the U.S. only, but this could be a sign of something bigger to come. This might be a subtle indication that Google is possibly on its way to rolling out Google TV outside of the States. Will the Moutain View giant announce something at Google I/O this year? Let’s hope so.

source: GTV Hub

Google Play Arrives On Google TVs As Well

 

Without missing a beat, the new Google Play service has launched on Google TV. It was previously mentioned that roll out would occur over the coming weeks but my Google TV received the update immediately after powering it on this afternoon. Google TV came first for once! To me that sort of  makes sense given the entertainment centric connotation of Google Play. However, here’s hoping some apps launch to drive that notion home. As you are all aware, the GTV Market Play Store is relatively barren. That being said, the update admittedly doesn’t change much either. A small difference in color and of course the icons seem to be the only difference for now. Google Play IS rolling out at least.

Although, if you don’t want to wait for the roll out. You can get it now using this super simple method.