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Google Will Reveal A Version Of Google TV Soon

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The first version of Google TV may be a dud, but the company is working on the next version and could show it off at its I/O conference next month.


An industry source says the next version of Google TV has a lot more potential than today's version for three main reasons:

- Performance. It will use a faster chip set.

- Better user experience.

- Android apps. Google has already said it will soon be possible to run Android apps on Google TV. This source believes that Google will build a TV-specific version of the Android Market right into the Google TV interface, giving developers a lot of incentive to build apps for it.

More generally, this person thinks that Android is slated for an explosion of new video content and apps, driven in part by the new crop of Android tablets as well as the merging of Android into Google TV.

Let's hope Google TV turns out to be something that Google continues to plug away at. Here's a to-do list :

- Polish it up

The quality of its data about TV programs was uneven and I kept running into problems so strange that I couldn't tell whether they were usability gaffes or outright bugs. Google TV just needs to be better at doing what it's trying to do.

- Placate content owners

A major chunk of the appeal of Google TV was supposed to be watching Web-based content from big companies  which sounded like a swell idea until the major networks and others began blocking Logitech and Sony's Google TV devices from streaming their shows. Unless Google can convince at least a few of these outfits to unblock their stuff, Google TV will feel crippled.

- Rethink the input

Me, I like the fact that the Revue comes with a full-blown, no-compromises wireless QWERTY keyboard. It's way better than trying to tap, tap, tap out alphanumeric information on a traditional remote. But I worry that it's too intimidatingly geeky a means of input for a mass audience. Maybe Google TV needs something like TiVo's remote with a slide-out keyboard.

- Up the hardware requirements

The Intel Atom processor inside the Revue struggles at times to keep up with the demands of video playback and the Google TV interface, like an underpowered netbook. Devices based on this platform need enough muscle to ensure that they feel like...well, like TV.

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