Google likely to unveil its 'Smart TV' this week

This could be the week that Google raises the curtain on its much-rumored and awaited initiative to take Internet television into the living room with the Smart TV play it's partnering on with Intel, Sony and Logitech.

The software, expected to be announced Thursday at the Google I/O developer conference, is likely to come built-in to Internet-connected TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players. Earlier this year, Google also was rumored to be considering manufacturing its own STB.

More than 1 million Internet-connectable TVs already have been sold in the U.S., and forecasts expect another 10 million to be sold by 2011.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini last week told investors and analysts "the television revolution we are about to go through is the biggest single change in television since it went color."

The Diffusion Group's Colin Dixon in March told FierceOnlineVideo he believes Google's play is a game changer for online video and even Pay TV.

"It makes a lot of sense for Google to do this, to leverage the technology from Intel," he said. "And it puts a lot of pressure on other players, especially smaller companies who are navigating the field now."

With 1-in-10 Americans currently connecting their laptops to their TVs, the market is wide open for a big boom. Google is poised to provide the spark.

For more:
- see this San Jose Mercury News article

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