The Apple TV refresh isn’t the only new connected device headed to living rooms this fall; Google CEO Eric Schmidt has reaffirmed his company’s plans to release the Google TV set-top box in the U.S. later this year, with launch in the rest of the world coming in 2011.
First officially announced at Google I/O, Google TV aims to bring internet video to the living room. Users will be able to search the web and switch back and forth between web video, TV and other content all from the remote control.
Google will be selling the device as a separate set-top box and partnering with manufacturers like Sony to build the features into HDTVs and other devices. According to Reuters, Samsung is also now looking into using the service.
The basic Google TV service will be free, although we anticipate that the company will also be working on deals to bring premium subscription content to the device.
In addition to Apple, Google TV faces competition from the upcoming Boxee Box, the Roku streaming players and the connected offerings that many HDTV and Blu-ray manufacturers are already building into their devices.
Sony, which will be making some of the Google TV set-top boxes as well as integrating the service into some of its new devices, has put lots of effort into making the Playstation 3 a one-stop media center for movies, games and TV shows.
We look forward to the release of the Google TV so that we can try it out against the other options. In the war over the living room, do you have a favorite device? Let us know.