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Can Google TV do what so many have failed at?

Google TV wants to blend television and the Web. Get in line, buddy.

By / May 20, 2010

Will Google TV fly? A lot of others have crashed and burned.

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Google TV just stepped into the limelight. The news arrived during Google's I/O conference in San Francisco today. This much-anticipated service marks yet another step by Google out of PCs and into the rest of people's lives.

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Its plan is simple: Deliver the online video, features, and websites that we enjoy on our desktop screens and deliver it all to our TV screens. But history shows that connecting those two ecosystems – or at least convincing shoppers that they need such a union – is a lot harder than it sounds.

AOLTV fell flat. Microsoft Windows media players couldn't simplify the experience enough to win over many converts. Apple TV felt too tethered to your computer's iTunes account. Tivo Premier, the Kodak Theater HD Player, and Yahoo's living room integration do basically the same thing as Google TV, but never gained much traction.

Should we think that Google TV's fate will be any different?

A lot of signs point to "yes."

First, let's talk hardware. Google has teamed up with Sony to bake Google TV into television sets and Blu-ray players. Also, Logitech and Dish Network will each roll out set-top boxes. This sounds much like past efforts. But then Best Buy promised to heavily market Google TV (in its many forms) in stores nationwide. Good start.

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