Intel Smart TV: what to expect from Google TV

Mike Payne explains all about Smart TV
Mike Payne explains all about Smart TV

Intel is betting big on its Smart TV technology – calling it the biggest thing for TV since the "invention of colour".

While we will have to wait to try out the tech to say we agree with the hyperbole, the demos we have seen do look pretty interesting.

But it wasn't until Google threw its hat into the connected ring and announce it was doing Google TV – a service that combines TV and the web – that things got really interesting.

We haven't seen much of Google TV in action but a video of Mike Payne, director of experience design, Intel digital home group, shows just what may be involved in the service.

In a video posted to YouTube (and found by Android Headlines) Payne outlines some interesting features of Google TV / Smart TV, including how the service – using the CE4100 Atom processor – will meld internet and broadcast content together.

Intel tv

"There is a series of things [Smart TV does] which will reunite people's experiences with television," notes Payne in the video.

"There is a lot more richness and value we can bring by integration of internet content and personal content with that broadcast experience."

One way Smart TV is doing this is with visually enhancing the plain-old EPG and creating a browsing experience which is image not text based, as Payne explains: "The notion of visual browsing on televisions gets away from that static television experience and helps users discover new things to watch.

"You can go through the visual scroll wheel instead of leafing through a text-based programme guide.

"The other thing which shows off your content is this notion of a video wall, where you get a much richer access to content from the internet and broadcast.

"You can search this content, so it is about getting what you want without having to worry about where it is coming from."

Smart tv

New Smart TV devices will be available this year and TechRadar is hoping that it will get its hands-on the service, which will be in everything from Blu-ray players to TVs to set-top boxes.

It's not just how we interact visually with content, with Payne revealing that how we use the humble remote control will change.

"We are also getting away from the online keyboard and using voice search, so you can say NCIS into a remote or television and get that experience," say Payne.

"The next generation of remote controls will have touch, gesture and will bring a far better experience than the button-based remotes we are using today."

Alongside this will be social networking via your TV. Skype has made huge inroads into this, with the VoIP service available on a number of TVs and Payne sees this as something that will become much more dominant in the future.

Smart tv

"The social experience is critical and will be coming to television in a much more new and exciting way," reveals Payne.

"Part of what we are focused on is engagement and presence with people from all variety of different places, having a video wall to speak to people and talk about that content and sharing personal content."

With a release date of Autumn 2010 for Google TV, in the US at least, it won't be long before we see if this next generation of TV watching will be anything like the impressive demos we have seen so far.

To see the entire video, focus your eyeball below:

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.