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NYT: Google, Sony, Intel team for HD Leverage


Assemble three really big media brand names and whatever they're working on together… it's probably worth exploring. Thus, we have none other than Google joining Intel to reportedly collaborate with Sony to develop a new platform called Google TV. The aim: to bring the vast array of online resources into the home via the next-gen of HD sets and set-top boxes.

The three-way is widely seen as a move by Google and Intel to extend their already-huge respective reaches into all-things-Internet into the older (albeit, still immensely popular) realm of television. Google must be flattered with having evolved into an everyday verb for millions who google online, but its astonishing Internet presence pretty much fades to black when the living room HDTV pops on.

For Sony, once the enviable brand to beat in CE (and still enjoying an extremely high name recognition factor among consumers) is still trying to gain momentum in the flat-screen TV panel category after its decision several years ago to go slow on LCD or plasma production, while competitors watched their market shares rise.

So Sony's still-unconfirmed move to join Google and Intel in a TV software/hardware venture would be another way for the Japanese firm to gain an edge over competitors, according to The New York Times.

The idea of Google TV would be to allow new set owners to use their large-screen HDTVs to navigate easily online and to perform other typical broadband tasks on their TV sets. Some of those options would include social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as various photo platforms and online VOD tiers (such as Netflix and Blockbuster) for movies and TV shows.

The Times said Google likely will issue a "toolkit" to a wide list of programmers later this spring — meaning potential set makers who move quickly enough could have Google TV-enabled products out by the fall, in plenty of in time for the holiday sales season.

Another contributor to any such three-way collaboration will be Logitech. None of the parties would discuss the Google TV plan in any way, the Times said.