Google shed a little more light on Google TV today, launching a preview site ahead of launch events over the next two weeks.
There hadn't been a whole lot more said about Google's plans for the small screen since it first revealed the product in May at Google I/O, but there are a lot more visual clues at how Google TV will look and feel when it arrives this month on the new site. Google also used the occasion to announce content partners who have decided to optimize their Web sites for the software, including Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, HBO, and the National Basketball Association.
Google TV is a combination of hardware built by partners like Logitech and Sony and software developed by Google that is designed to blend the Web experience with the television experience, something tech companies have been trying to do for at least a decade. The devices are expected to arrive this month, with Logitech having scheduled a press conference for Wednesday and Sony following up with its own event next week.
In addition to Web browsing and screen gazing, Google TV users will also be able to download apps for their TVs. Twitter announced such an application today, and Google said Pandora and Napster are also expected to offer Google TV applications.
It will be interesting to see just how Web-friendly Google TV really is as adoption grows. When Apple launched the iPhone, one of its signature selling points was the ability to view Web sites just like you could on your PC or Mac. However, content designed for a large screen doesn't necessarily work on a small screen, and so many Web developers wound up creating mobile-only sites and developing applications to deliver the best experience.
It's a little different for Google TV, in that the viewing screen will be much bigger. But media companies may find themselves now having to support three different screens--mobile, desktop, and television--with their Web development efforts should the effort prove popular. Or they may choose to focus on applications.
There's still an important detail to be revealed before handicapping Google TV's chances: price. We should get a better handle on that over the next two weeks.