|Now Google Expands Into TV|
Daily Mail UK
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October 20, 2010
Sony is to launch a new range of television sets which used Google’s new web-surfing technology it was announced this week.
|The internet-enabled high-definition LCD TV sets, which will go on sale on October, allow viewers to search the web.|
The high-definition sets unveiled in New York will have LCD screens ranging from 24 inches to 46 inches and will go one sale online on Saturday.
Google TV will allow customers to access Facebook and watch films on YouTube in the comfort of their living rooms.
Sony's new TVs will be built on Google's Android operating system. They will navigate websites with Google's Chrome browser and rely on Intel Atom chips for their processing power.
The system can search the internet, television programming guides and even to find all video connected to a request entered into a search bar at the top of the screen.
'Finally, you can seamlessly search your favourite TV programs and websites on the same screen, at the same time,' said Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony's home division.
The remote control for Sony's Google TVs includes a standard, 'QWERTY' keyboard to enter the search requests or make other comments on the Internet while retaining the ability to watch TV simultaneously.
The Google TV options from Amazon's digital video store and Netflix's movie subscription service mirror features already available on an array of other devices that connect to televisions.
Twitter and several music sites, including Vevo, Pandora and Napster, have also designed features especially for Google TV.
Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey isn't convinced that Sony and Google's new televisions will be able to make a compelling enough case to turn this new generation of sets into a must-have item, although he is impressed with the new technology.
'Price is going to be important', he said. 'Google TV is a powerful experience, but most people aren't going to understand it unless they can see it in action.
'I think they have the right concept here, but I am not sure about the execution yet.'
Sony is planning a marketing blitz to promote its Google TV over the next few months.
Meanwhile, Google and a handful of other companies are investing in a proposed $5billion network of underwater transmission lines that could bring power from future offshore wind farms.
The project called the Atlantic Wind Connection, would run electrical lines as far as 20b miles offshore from Virginia to New Jersey.
The initial phase of the project would be capable of delivery 2,000 megawatts of wind energy - enough to power about 500,000 homes.
The companies hope that by saving developers the cost of lining the sea floor with electrical cables they will be able to deliver wind power to shore and jump-start the building of offshore wind farms along the East Coast.
The U.S. is just starting to develop projects to tap into the strong wind currents blowing along the Atlantic Coast.
There are currently no wind turbines operating in the waters off the eastern U.S. Cape Wind offshore of Massachusetts but a lease was granted earlier this month after a decade-long battle.
Construction will take two years once it gets under way.
Longbow Research analyst Eli Lustgarten said the project could be critical for the offshore wind industry, bringing investors with deep pockets and a plan to add an extensive transmission network.
But the project's success if far from certain, he said. It still needs regulatory approval and is expected to take a decade to build. During that time, organizers say it may transmit at least some electricity that was generated from coal.
'You have to develop the technology and put the wind offshore. Ten years is a long time from now,' Lustgarten said.
Construction could begin as soon as 2013, and when completed, it could handle as much as 6,000 megawatts of energy, enough to supply 1.9 million homes.
The energy is expected to cost several times more than conventional electricity, but Needham said Google still sees offshore wind as an attractive long-term investment.
In May, Google made its first direct investment in clean energy, buying a $38.8 million stake in two North Dakota wind farms.
Google has also been trying to rely on renewable energy sources for its data centers, whose demands for power are increasing as the company sets up more computers in its bid to index all of the world's online data.