Google's Open-Source TV: Coming soon to a set near you

Could Google's Linux-based TV box hasten the end of television consumption as we know it?

Google may do for Internet television viewing what it did for the search engine market: Make it easy and open enough that anyone can use it.

Based on Google's Android Linux OS (or should that be Linux Android OS?), it seems unlikely to be yet another set-top box with yet another remote you'll have to label in order to keep track.Hi-Def Digest explained it nicely as truly being more of an OS than merely another box to stick on your TV.   If it goes the open-source route it's said to be headed in, Hi-Def reports, "That means that anyone who wants to put Google TV into their set-top box, television, game system, or Blu-ray player can do it."The trio has brought in Logitech to create the remote control and anyone who's ever used a top-of-the line mouse or keyboard from them knows if anyone can create a true universal remote (you know, one that actually IS universal), it's probably them. (NOTE: Yes, I know Logitech makes universal remotes; I suppose I was just trying to be cutesy in commenting that I've never seen a universal remote that actually did everything it was supposed to. Yeah, I should probably knock off the cutesy. Sorry 'bout that.)

That's huge. The road toward widespread Internet TV watching has been a bit rough. The average person still would rather watch on their nice hi-def television (or even a decent flatscreen) than on his or her computer. Especially if that computer's a laptop.

The more technologically adept among us is able to sort out the cables, HDMI ports and, sometimes, more that you need to hook a computer up to the TV set. But the average person often has problems figuring out how to set the clock on his DVD player. True story.

Sure, now you can get Netflix on your Wii, Hulu through a Blu-ray player, Boxee on its own set-top box. But if anyone is down for the democratization of Internet-based TV viewing, it's Google. And with a built-in browser plus expected apps from YouTube, Hulu and Netflix just for starters, it's conceivable that the pace with which the average consumer has been moving from the broadcast/cable/satellite model (which are all pretty much the same, just different technology and channel capacity) could accelerate exponentially.

Google's partnering with hardware heavy-hitter Intel and entertainment/electronics bigwig Sony.

Imagine being able to use one Logitech remote to control your TV, your DVD/Blu-ray, your video game system and your computer. OK, I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself with that, but is it really all that unreasonable to consider?

Now, if Google could just get on with creating an open-source OS for my washer and dryer that I could control from my living room and have my more tech-savvy friends custom-code for me. ...

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