A First Look at the Next Generation of Google TV


Back at Google I/O it was announcemed that a new version of Google TV would arrive based on Android 3.1, and Google was seeking willing participants to be part of a developer preview dubbed the “Fishtank” program. Well, Google has shipped out their new reference hardware packed with Google TV 2.0 beta, and we now have our first look at what we can expect.

Details on the actual software is a bit scant, but you can see from provided images that the Google TV team has done a pretty good job of porting the system to Honeycomb. The result is an interface that is as familiar for looking like Google TV as it is is for looking like Honeycomb. But this is a slightly stripped down version of Android 3.1, and it currently only has Live TV and Clock apps as well as a full version of Google Chrome for web browsing (there apparently has been a bit of a back-and-forth going on between Google and developers over opening up the API for the Live TV app).

The reference hardware runs on an Intel CE4100 chipset custom-designed for internet TV devices and features far more ports than originally included on the first run of Google TV devices. The back of the Fishtank box looks more like your standard DVR or cable box, and includes a coaxial port and component video connections, possibly hinting that this new version of Google TV won’t require an HD signal via HDMI (as of now, Live TV still only functions via the HDMI connections). There is no telling if these connections will remain for future Google TV hardware.

Earlier this week we saw Google TV devices begin to show up in our Android Market device lists, giving us hope the update to Google TV 2.0 would be coming soon. From the looks of this preview, the Google TV team still has some work to do before they can ship the update out to early adopters.

[via Geek]

Kevin Krause
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  1. If its Honeycomb and has Chrome, why can’t Honeycomb tablets get a version of Chrome?

    1. cause Chrome was designed for x86
      Lots of things will not work especially all the apps from chrome store, inclusive of extensions.

      And since they have chrome OS, the chance of it happening is much lower.

      The best alternative you can get is Firefox, but it is still in beta.

      1. Err – I thought the default Android browser was – more or less – Chrome?

        1. No.  It shares the HTML rendering engine, but it is definitely not chrome.  Totally different code bases, different feature sets.

          1. Oooh ok – didn’t know that.  Thanks!

    2. There are 2 flavors of Android apps. Dalvik and Native Code. Dalvik is your typical apps made and has a style similar to Java. Native Code is C and runs much faster, but is not a VM, so as Kagnon said bellow, will not run on different processors. 

      That said, I would avoid FireFox.. while its great on the desktop, the Android version is lack luster as it can not run Flash. The stock browser and Dolphin are 2 good choices, but of couse, none of these are a Chrome replacement as  Chrome is a lot more then just a typical browser.

    3. Honeycomb on the GTV sucks anyway (Right now)… Im actually using it to post this. There are a mazimum of 3 tabs, and you have to go through the annoying menu to switch

      1. I don’t see much need for more for as much as I use the browser on my Sony box. I just want cable card tuner support for HD home run prime so I can drop my cable box and still get all my channels

  2. Wonder if they are using the SageTV backend for their new LiveTV implementation?

  3. WRONG on the Coaxial port being for TV signal input.
    The port labeled Coaxial is for Digital Audio only …just like the SPDIF port
    The ports on either end labeled Ant. are for WiFi antennas…those are not Coax ports. 

    1. Is that two HDMI in ports, or two HDMI out ports?  Out would make sense for a bluray player supporting 3d playback and lossless audio to recievers that are only hdmi 1.3 compliant.

      Can’t tell what the box says around the placeholder area on the left .

      1. Two HDMI In ports. There are more/bigger pictures at the source.

  4. Next Gen Google TV, WOOT!! I love the direction they are headed. Anyone think it may be Google that put in the “secret” bid to get Hulu? I write http://www.GoogleTVBuzz.com and http://www.MySmartPhoneStuff.com and really enjoy reading your blog posts. Does it look like they are still on schedule for a summer release?

  5. Were you supposed to post this? Thought there was a non-disclosure agreement on this…

  6. How the hell do I sign up for the beta!!!! First I missed out on the Chrome laptop now this, lol

  7. If they include placeshifting, my world would be complete.

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