Google TV

Google has just premiered its TV announcements for next week’s Consumer Electronics Show, where the major television makers will be showing off the latest in “Smart” internet-connected sets.

The addition of LG TV models and replacements for Intel as the processor maker for Google TVs is the new news, although Google revealed its activation rates for its “TV meets the Web” service have doubled since Version 2.0 of Google TV was launched in October, suggesting a boost for sales of Sony devices. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook has approached Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC to build a handset  with the social network integrated into its operating system, according to AllThingsDigital. Code-named “Buffy” – after the television vampire slayer – the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services. Read more

Google has revived its stuttering effort to conquer the living room with a new version of Google TV, the service that mixes the web with television.

A redesigned interface, an improved look for services such as YouTube, better ways of finding TV and movie content and the opening up of the Android Market to deliver TV-compatible applications are the main improvements announced by Google on Friday.

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Tech news from around the web:

Apple is expected to hold its next big media event on Tuesday October 4, where it will unveil the next iPhone model, according to AllThingsDigital. Meanwhile, Mashable reports that a remark made by Apple board member and former US Vice-President Al Gore at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in South Africa – “Not to mention the new iPhones coming out next month. That was a plug.” – has sparked speculation of more than one iPhone5 model.

TechCrunch reports that a deleted tweet from Facebook creative director Ji Lee may point to a special feature in the social network’s long-anticipated music service. In a tweet that was deleted minutes after it was sent, Mr Lee wrote:

The “Listen with your friend” feature in ticker is blowing my mind. Listen to what your friends are listening. LIVE. 

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Google TV, the search company’s troubled internet-television service, will soon be getting a reboot, its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, hinted on Saturday.

Speaking after delivering Friday’s MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Mr Schmidt said Google was in discussions with all the major UK broadcasters ahead of a European launch of set-top boxes using its software early next year.

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Tech news from around the web:

Facebook is updating its photo viewer,  ZDNet reports. Facebook Photos will look cleaner, easier to view and bigger.

The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal reports that the mobile payment service, Square, is growing through out the US. Data from the company shows that “just about every major city and plenty of smaller places have someone using the device”. Read more

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt. Image by Getty.

In 2008, Michael Grade, then chief executive of ITV, branded Google a “parasite”, along with other internet companies that “live off our content”.

Tonight, Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, will take to the TV industry’s most prestigious platform to give the MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh International TV Festival’s annual keynote speech has been on steady rotation between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for most of its 35-year history, with the recent exception of News Corp Europe chief James Murdoch’s 2009 attack on the BBC.

So the symbolism behind the podium space granted to Google, Facebook and Twitter this year should not be underestimated. Read more

Logitech has cut the price of its Logitech Revue set-top box by 60 per cent to $99.99 from $249.99 in another sign that Google TV has failed to catch on with consumers. There are no indications that, as is often the case, the price cut presages a new Google TV unit from Logitech, which is the only company currently offering a standalone Google TV box. The Revue was launched last October at $300. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google’s Android operating system now claims the largest share of the US consumer smartphone market with 39 per cent, according to June figures from market researchers Nielsen. Apple’s iOS is in second place with 28 per cent, while RIM Blackberry is at 20 per cent. Apple, however,  is the top smartphone manufacturer in the US. HTC, meanwhile, holds a 14 per cent share of the market. Read more

Forget Apple TV, Google TV and YouView. Games consoles are going to be
the main way that people view online video on their TV sets in the
next couple of years, according to Simon Calver, chief executive of
Lovefilm, which both posts DVDs and streams films over the internet to
subscribers. Read more

Getting to know Google TV involves familiarisation with 80 buttons on Sony’s remote control, compared to just three on the recently launched Apple TV.

The extra 77 buttons, plus function-key combinations, sum up how, in trying to combine a full web experience with regular television, Google and its partners have added a complexity that may intimidate many consumers.

I reviewed Sony and Logitech’s Google TV units in the Personal Technology column in Friday’s FT Business Life section and compared them with rival systems. An extended breakdown of how Google TV shapes up against the competition is after the jump. Read more

Logitech has set a benchmark price of $300 for the new Google TV service, with the official launch of its Revue set-top box and controller.

That’s three times the price of Apple TV, but the two services are very different in features and approach, with Google TV offering much tighter integration with existing TV channels. Read more

You won’t find it on YouTube (a message explains that “licensing and permissions issues” prevent Google’s video site from showing the full event ) but Thursday’s unveiling of Google TV featured a demonstration by Bryan Perez, general manager of NBA Digital, writes FT Media Editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

A third-party content developer in a tech-heavy line-up at the Google I/O developer conference , Perez showed how fans could use the basketball association’s application on their internet-enabled televisions to see video highlights, check scores and fantasy leagues, browse schedules or save games to their DVRs. Read more