According to the New York Times, Sony has joined forces with Google and Intel to develop a platform under the Google TV name. The goal is to bring Web video into the living room with new TVs and set-top boxes.
The Web-based TV game is a competitive landscape, with big players such as Netflix, TiVo, Apple TV and a billion brand names you’ve never heard of making set-top boxes to stream content from the Web.
The Sony-Intel-Google partnership’s goal is to beef up their portfolio and extend their presence into another room of the house. Google and Intel have a lot of revenue potential if they can get market share in the TV space, and Sony could earn a competitive edge via a partnership with the big-G. Over the last number of years, the HDTV landscape has become highly competitive and Sony has seen its foothold slip, so a partnership that offers a new technology may help drive consumers to the Sony brand.
So what’s the big deal with this announcement? According to the NY Times, the three tech titans want to make it easier for TV users to use and navigate through Web-based applications such as Twitter, Picasa. Their goal is to make it as simple as changing the channel.
The TV sets will use Intel’s Atom chips and the platform will be built on Google’s Android operating system (the same one used in smartphones), and the code will be opened to developers and software engineers. The move is strategic in an effort to have third-parties assist in growing and developing the platform (the same way App developers have helped fuel the demand for Apple’s iPhone or iPod).
There are no details on release dates, but software and some products may surface as early as this summer, reports indicate. Peripheral maker Logitech is reported to make a remote with a small keyboard.
The Times report cites anonymous sources who indicate the partnership has been in the works for months. Nobody has spoken publicly yet, as details are still being negotiated.