Google announced search enhancements to its Google TV platform today. The new search functionality focuses on voice capabilities and better discovery of movie and TV content through what they are calling PrimeTime. The moves illustrate Google’s further attempts to leverage their core competency of search across the television viewing and discovery experience, creating what they hope is another screen (beyond the PC, tablet, and smartphone screens) for them to generate massive revenue and profits.
Google TV Voice Search
With voice search, subscribers can simply talk into their Google TV enabled remote control to find a TV show, movie, or OTT Internet video asset. In the below video, Google demonstrates how a subscriber can speak a show name, “Friday Night Lights” in their example, and search results will display on the TV where they can watch Friday Night Lights. It also demonstrates how you don’t need to remember a channel number – just speak the channel into your remote.
Google TV PrimeTime
With PrimeTime, Google is basically rebranding their earlier released TV & Movies app, which allows subscribers to browse “100,000+ movies and TV episodes available to watch.” Think of it as a Google interactive program guide, which leverages their search algorithms to find and display information about all the TV shows and movies available to subscribers at anytime. Watch the below video to get a much better explanation of this enhancement.
YouTube on Google TV
Google also announced an enhanced YouTube experience for the TV. “The world watches 4 billion hours of YouTube per month, but it’s not yet as easy to watch YouTube on your TV as it is on your computers, phones, and tablets. YouTube and Google TV are changing that,” says Google product managers Greg Funk and Eric Liu on the Google TV blog. The updated YouTube app automatically pairs and properly formats YouTube videos from your Android mobile device to your TV. You can pull up a YouTube video on your smartphone and instantly “move” it to your Google TV enabled television, with the proper resolution and formatting for the bigger screen.
These Google TV enhancements will first be made available on LG devices, with other Google TV platforms to follow in the coming months. Google TV has not quite caught fire. Actual penetration data for their platform is quite elusive. But their path is quite clear. Hopefully to get tens of millions of Google TV platforms out into the market with these types of search capabilities, and leverage the Google business models of advertising and data mining of TV viewing habits and behavior for revenue and profits. In essence, try to capture the TV screen, in much the same way they’ve captured the PC, smartphone, and to a somewhat lesser degree, the tablet screen.