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Google moves into UK TV market

Google’s control over most of our media looks set to expand into our TV viewing habits as the internet giant launches Google TV, in partnership with Sony. They will launch their own set top boxes allowing users to access all the features of Google’s TV service.

Although Google has had an indifferent experience after launching the service in the USA, the boxes will be in UK shops from mid-July, retailing at around £200-£300. Using Google’s Android software, the boxes will allow users to surf the net, use social networks like Twitter and watch BBC iPlayer in between watching live TV.

Other companies like Apple are taking an interest in the smart TV market, but Google have placed the first bets in a risky arena. Suveer Kothari, the company’s head of global TV distribution, said the launch was just "the beginning of a long journey".

"We think there's going to be huge benefits from bringing the internet to TV. Google TV attempts to address the problem that there's not really a great experience to access the internet on your TV screen, which is a similar problem we saw in the smartphone market five years ago."

Google TV comes with an internet-connected remote control which has a full Qwerty keypad on the reverse, allowing you to type emails in the commercial breaks in Coronation Street. With the opportunity to update your Facebook status while catching the football highlights, it has to be said that, while it may be the future, Google TV has the potential for causing huge amounts of family friction.

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