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Google TV coming to U.S. this year

At a keynote speech at this year’s IFA trade show in Berlin, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that the company plans to roll out Google TV in the United States this fall, with a worldwide launch following in 2011. Google TV aims to fuse traditional television programming with Internet browsing and interactive capabilities: the service would be free from Google, and the company plan to work with a number of programmers and device manufacturers to bring support for the service to consumers. Google TV will also be able to tap into the Android App Store to add functionality and content; further, users will be able to use Android-powered devices (as well as iPhones) as remote controls for Google TV devices.

Sony has already announced it will support Google TV, and Samsung said it is evaluating Google TV. Logitech’s Revue set-top box will support Google TV.

Schmidt also made several announcements regarding Google’s Android mobile operating system and its forthcoming Chrome OS: Android will be picking up Street View services in Google Maps, as well as voice-powered search so users can speak search queries rather than typing them. Schmidt also said it will announce partners later this year who will be producing tablet computers running Google’s forthcoming Chrome operating system.

Schmidt’s announcement regarding Google TV comes just a week after Apple rolled out a new, compact version of its Apple TV device and dropped its price down to $99. The new Apple TV does not run iPhone/iPad applications, but it does introduce $0.99 TV show rentals and the ability sync seamlessly with video content from iTunes libraries.

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