Google is about to launch an “internet TV” service that allows people to switch between television and
the web on the same set
Google TV will also mean that viewers can watch shows from BBC iPlayer and ITV Player on their main TV screen.
Accessed through a special set-top box, the service is due to launch in the UK
within six months, following its launch earlier in the US.
Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt will outline the plans when he gives
this year’s MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
Google says the service will allow people to search all of the
content on the TV and the internet by using a single click.
It will also allow viewers to switch between the TV and the internet
on their main screen without having to adjust any cables.
Smartphones and iPhones can be used instead of a remote control to change
channels and viewers will also be able to use their own voice to conduct
Google TV will also provide YouTube in high definition.
But despite the apparent ground-breaking nature of Google TV, it has so far failed to take off in the U.S..
Apart from claims that the manufacturer was charging too much for the boxes – about £152 – there has been criticism that it is difficult to use.
And a number of the options Google is offering through its new service are already available on competitors’ products.