Sony has announced a new line of LCDs that have Google TV built in.
Google TV is a web and content portal for TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes. Similar in functionality as Apple TV, Google TV is open source and based on Google's Android operating system.
In addition to a Chrome-based web browser, Google TV will have content available from Netflix, YouTube, Amazon on Demand and Hulu. Plus there's apps for Twitter, Pandora, Napster and more.
How it works is, well, pretty Google. Type a show into the search bar and you'll get when it's playing, if there's any clips on YouTube, the show's IMDB page, and so on.
Google is, of course, hyping this as the next step in television. Those of us who remember WebTV are a bit more skeptical. That said, the open source aspect of the architecture, and with the power of Google behind it, point towards this as the beginning of something. Android for phones has taken off incredibly, and the TV market has even less competition for a product like this. Really, the only thing similar is AppleTV, and that's just Apple and Netflix on the content side, and it's certainly not open source.
To start, Sony's implementation is primarily in TVs ranging in size from 24-inches to 46-inches and a Blu-ray player.
All the TVs are 1080p, LCD and have built in Wi-Fi. There's a big radio frequency QWERTY keyboard remote, and all will soon have the ability to link with select mobile phones. They also feature "Dual View" which allows for TV watching and web surfing at the same time.
The 32, 40, and 46-inch models are Edge-Lit LED LCDs. The 24-inch has a CCFL (Cold-Cathode Florescent Lamp) backlight.
The Blu-ray player also has Wi-Fi and Dual View.
All are available this month.