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Google, Intel, and Sony Plan New TV System

Set-top boxes will offer easier Web surfing, and let developers create TV apps.

A Google-Intel-Sony partnership will soon offer TVs and set-top boxes that make it easier to browse the Web on a TV, according to a report by The New York Times. The Google TV platform will be based on the Android operating system and will be open to developers, who will presumably be able to create downloadable TV apps, like games.

While some TVs and boxes already allow Web access, these generally don’t offer full web surfing. Products that let you play video from a computer on a TV have also been around for a while. But the rising popularity of video sites like YouTube and Hulu.com may mean we’ll be seeing more Internet options–potentially even related social networking services–on TVs. Logitech will offer a remote control with a tiny keyboard to aid in web surfing on Google TV.

Google’s venture into TV was preceded by its Google TV Ads system, which sells ads on some televisions systems and figures out where an advertiser’s ad should be placed based on keywords (similar to its web advertising). Several years ago, Google also tested a software which used a computer’s built-in microphone to listen and identify audio from a user’s TV to target related ads on the user’s computer.

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