The days of sitting back and channel surfing have become things of the past for a lot of television viewers around the world. With the introduction of Google TV, Australian viewers – along with others around the world — have one more way to customize their television viewing experiences.
In the United States, Google TV hasn’t received an especially warm reception. Perhaps it will fare better in Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Google TV began as a “joint project with entertainment giant Sony, dominant chipmaker Intel and accessories king Logitech. It aimed to build Google’s Android smartphone software into a range of home-entertainment gear, with a TV-friendly makeover.”
The result was a set-top box that allows viewers to watch television and interact with the Internet simultaneously. The Google TV set-top box is not available for purchase as yet. Instead, it comes packaged with Sony’s new high-end HX750 and HX850 Bravia televisions.
Once television viewers connect the Google TV box to their televisions, they will next be required to connect to the Internet. Once they’ve done that, they’ve opened the door to interactive television. For example, people who enjoy watching shows like X Factor and So You Think You Can Dance will be able to watch the programs and vote for their favorite performers online at the same time.
Meant to serve as a complement to Blu-Ray players and video game consoles with Internet connectivity, Google TV includes an Adobe Flash plug-in that makes browsing websites easier. The Google TV remote comes equipped with a full trackpad and QWERTY keyboard on the back.
Given the popularity of shows like “X Factor,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and similar programs, being able to vote online without having to transfer attention to a laptop or tablet might be the remedy that some of these types of shows, which are ailing, could use. Bringing Google TV to Australia may be the boost that Google TV needs to help it gain traction. If it succeeds in Australia, it may not take long for U.S. consumers to consider giving it a closer look.