Friday, 26 August 2011

Is the Google TV on Its Way to the UK?

Google's Internet television has been on sale in the United States for almost a year, but is now the right time to bring the product to the UK?

The Internet search giants newest gadget enables users to watch both online content and traditional TV channels at the touch of a button. The set has the ability to switch seamlessly between TV and the Internet without having to adjust any wiring. Google's attempt to bring together the world of online and offline entertainment has intrigued the US market, but admittedly it's not been a phenomenal success.

It's thought the product wont hit UK stores this year however, with technology experts estimating a March 2012 release. Obviously, the English version of the product will differ to its American counterpart in a number of ways, the main of which being the choice of networks from which to choose from.

Google have stated UK models will allow users to connect directly to streaming sites BBC iPlayer and ITV player. Among the other features set to accompany the television are the ability to use Android devices as remote controls and a heavy emphasis on YouTube integration. Furthermore, due to Google's recent acquisition of mobile developer Motorola, it's thought Motorola handsets will also be linked to the product in some form.

Despite a host of network features and network choices, the Google TV has still split opinion. Some have labelled the device as 'limited', suggesting that although the set attempts both online and offline entertainment, it fails to perfect either. Discussing Google's attempt to break into the television market, Tellybug's Matt Millar claimed: “Any system that requires you to move a mouse pointer around a TV screen will fail.”

It's expected  Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt will make a formal announcement confirming talks about the gadget making its way to the UK at this weekends Edinburgh International Television Festival.

It'll be particularly interesting to see if the UK version of the product differs in any other ways we are yet to hear about. The concept of a television set that brings together online and offline entertainment is still very fresh, so it's hard to tell how the market will receive this technology. Will the set prove popular with English customers or will it flop? We'll have to wait and see.

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