Google is already king of search and has thrown its hat into the home music streaming ring. Google is now giving Apple TV a run for its money with Google TV, a set-top box that lets users stream music and television from Android-powered devices.
Google TV, which has been available on LG Smart TVs, will feature qualities very similar to Apple’s AirPlay – a program that streams content from an iOS device via a set-top box connected to your television.
Some of Google TV’s best features include:
- Google Chrome browser integrated into the product, allowing owners to watch online video, check social media accounts or email and essentially browse the web through their television.
- Picture-in-picture feature that keeps your browser in a small window in the corner of the screen, so you can watch live TV and surf the Internet simultaneously.
- Control through your phone – both Android and iPhone – with the Google TV remote app, featuring voice search.
- The ability to download countless apps for TV from Google Play, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO GO, Google Music and Amazon Instant Video, just to name a few.
- Support for MP4, MOV, MPEG, FLV and AVI video files; MP3, WAV and WMA audio files; and almost any type of image file.
Some of Google TV’s specs include 1080P HD resolution, stereo and 5.1 multichannel audio, cable/satellite box integration, AV receiver support, static and dynamic IP and USB 2.0 host support build directly into the device. Google TV is also integrated with DISH Network satellite, so you can search and record on your DVR and integrate your satellite service with your apps.
In comparison, both Apple TV and Google TV function in similar ways and are used for the same purpose – to stream media from your smart phone to your big screen. However, Google TV has a slight advantage — the set-top boxes are run by Intel’s Atom processor, the chip that powers many netbooks on the market, so it functions as an additional computer.
To get Google TV, you’ll need a set-top box, like the Logitech Revue (which includes a keyboard) and an HDTV. The set-top box and keyboard set costs about $90 and has easy set up. More players will be launched this summer, including a new set-top box from Honeywld that will run the new Android 4.0 system – a move that could have more users switching to Google TV.