Google to Debut 'Smart TV' Internet Software

CYBERSPACE — Google Inc. will debut its “Smart TV” Internet television software this week in a joint initiative with Sony Corp., Intel Corp and Logitech International.

A report in the Los Angeles Times said the new IPTV-like platform will allow users to switch between TV shows, YouTube videos and home videos

The software is expected to be built into Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.

Because of the strategic relationships with powerhouses like Sony and Intel, analysts expect the Google initiative to gain more success than others companies who have ventured into the IPTV space with limited success like Apple’s set-top box that has limited web capability.

Google's Smart TV will be unveiled at a conference in San Francisco for 3,000 software programmers in hopes that third-party developers will build applications the same way they did for smart phones.

"The revolution we're about to go through is the biggest single change in television since it went color," Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini told analysts last week.

The adult industry is traditionally at the vanguard of new technologies and is no stranger to IPTV.

Companies like IPTV applications developer Boxee, cable TV network New Frontier and content creators Hustler, Pink Visual and Bang Bros among others have all been participants, advocates or at least watchful of the new set-top box technology.

In the past few years interest has increased with the promise of watching adult programming via the web on the big-screen in the comfort of one’s living room. But the frenzy has yet to develop.

At this year's XBIZ LA "Future of the Porn Industry" seminar, Hustler/LFP Inc. President Michael H. Klein said he wasn’t a big fan of IPTV because current offerings just aren’t yet that impressive. But he said Hustler always keeps its eyes open and on top of the developing IPTV technologies and he wouldn't rule out a good fit.

Perhaps Google’s participation will bolster the acceptance of IPTV and give adult the needed shot in the arm.

Cable TV content provider Cable Entertainment Distribution (CED) President Marc Bruder told XBIZ he is a big supporter of IPTV and thinks the Google move will undoubtedly help adult. “It's a natural fit. Google bought YouTube some time ago so there is a built-in social network actively searching and accessing adult content.”

James McQuivey, media analyst with Forrester Research said that having Sony as a partner might even help Google power the TV of the future. He said that 10 million TVs will be sold with internet connectivity by 2011 that could allow Google to extend its operating system that now powers Android phones, inexpensive netbook laptops and tablet computers.

The analyst noted that Google could control how users navigate and then use the data to “…extend its wildly profitable advertising and search businesses.”

"The potential impact of reaching people when they're fully engaged by a 52-inch TV," McQuivey said, "and having that sponsored by advertising, that's very powerful."

And what could be more powerful and engaging than watching sex?