The long-awaited Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) IPTV service will burst onto the international scene starting in the next few days in Australia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico. The service has already been active--to a point--in the United States for the past few years.
There is, of course, a catch for some who want to access the service. Australian viewers, at least, have to buy the Sony (NYSE: SNE) set-top and a Bravia TV, local reports there say.
News of the Google IPTV international launch--either deliberately or coincidentally--occurred just as the search engine giant was preparing for its Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, which kicks off today with "more than 130 technical sessions, 20 code labs and 155 Sandbox partners," Mike Winton, director of developer relations at Google blogged, promising that "more than 40 sessions on Android, Chrome, Google+ and your favorite APIs will be streamed live" for those who log in.
The Google TV platform reportedly provides access to Android apps that can be downloaded from Google Play directly onto the Sony device; the ability to browse the Web and watch videos from YouTube; and a dual-sided smart remote with a trackpad and QWERTY keyboard.
"There's smart and then there's smartest—and that's what we think Google TV offers consumers who want the ultimate connected, big screen experience at home," Sony Australia managing director Carl Rose told TechTrader.
In the U.K., Sony sited the ability to "pop live TV into the background while you read up on the Guardian's website with Chrome, catch up on the latest episode of EastEnders on the BBC iPlayer, view Lauren Luke's latest make-up tips on YouTube, and choose from the hundreds of apps optimized for TV in Google Play," according to a story in uSwitch.com.
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