Friday, April 27, 2012

More You in our YouTube app for Google TV

We’ve been working like it’s a 24/7 hackathon over here to bring all of YouTube to your Google TV, and today we’ve got a round of updates that bring even more entertainment to your TV.

Adding Recommendations in My YouTube
There’s a big, beautiful world of channels and videos on YouTube, and the My YouTube tab organizes all of it for you. With an hour of video coming to YouTube every second, there’s always something new to enjoy, so we’ve added Recommendations to My YouTube to make the experience more relevant for you.

Like a great playlist, Recommendations can introduce you to the ever-expanding creativity of YouTube creators, showing you how things like pillows, a car wash, and taxidermy are related in the most hilarious of ways. On the topic of playlists, all of your private playlists are now featured as a grid of videos so you can quickly find any video in your Watch Later or Favorites.

From a new favorite to a must watch
Recommendations and Search are great ways to discover all kinds of videos, and behind every great video is a channel you might enjoy even more. This February, you started seeing YouTube channels on Google TV. You asked us to make searching even easier, so we’ve added Channel Search to quickly find the channel you’re looking for. Find one you like? Subscribe and the channel will be available and constantly updated in the My YouTube tab.

Smooooooooth playback
YouTube videos should look crisp and beautiful on the big screen, so the video will start playing at the best available resolution based on your connection. If you need to share some bandwidth love with other devices on your network, YouTube will automatically switch to a lower resolution to keep your video playing smoothly, rather than rebuffering. In other words, play on, player.

YouTube +1
Finally learning about Gotye and want to share it with the world? You can now +1 the video the same way you can on YouTube, and it will appear in your Google+ profile.

Your new YouTube is automatically available now, and you can always download it from the Google Play Store . As YouTube is constantly adding new features, we’re always working to bring them to the Google TV app. Let us know on Google+ what you want to see in the future, and any feedback on the new update!

Posted by Maciek Molerus, Google TV Software Engineer

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Google TV Hackathon Results: Thank You Developers!

Our first Google TV Hackathon came to a close Sunday night, resulting in some really neat apps through strong participation from the developer community. As the app movement reaches for the next frontier -- the TV -- we’re encouraged by the energy, enthusiasm, and innovation we saw this weekend. Here’s how it played out.

Hacking away in Mountain View, CA

Throughout the weekend, 370+ developers from both sides of the Atlantic united for an all-out session of intense hacking, coding, collaborating, and fun. We saw 60 teams create apps in just one weekend -- everything from games to home automation to chat.

The judges had a great time reviewing the apps, but in the end, there could only be a few winners from each location. And here they are!

  • Deja: an app on social video channels (Best New App Built from Scratch)
  • MyTV+: a media discovery app built around a novel way to aggregate social recommendations (Best New App Built from Scratch)
  • Viki on Google TV: an app to watch shows and movies translated into different languages (Best Ported App)
  • Quizinator: a multiplayer quiz game with a very cool user interface (Best Multi-screen App)
  • Popular Choice Awards: MyPicasso, PinTV, and Chess

  • MyTV: a customizable dashboard of news clips, traffic alerts, weather reports, etc. (Best in Show)
  • FeedMe: an app that streams a waterfall of images from various personal sources to background music (Best User Experience)
  • Remoter: an app that makes the TV your hub for family communication using Google Chat and other APIs (Best Technical Implementation)
  • Honorable Mentions: Pongan and I Don’t Know (that’s their name, not our admission of amnesia)

Presentations in London, UK

All U.S. attendees received Google TVs. Additionally, the U.S. winning teams each took home two highly coveted Google I/O tickets and a new 55” Sony HDTV, while our winners in the UK will be among the first people to get their hands on the forthcoming Sony Internet Player NSZ-GS7. A huge thanks to Sony for providing these prizes. Expect to see these apps coming soon and promoted by Google, Sony, AdRise, and others. “This hackathon was a blast and we would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Jiong Shen, MyPicasso.

Time lapse video of the UK hackathon

Special thanks go to SVAndroid and Londroid for hosting this worldwide event as well as our expert lineup of judges:
  • US: Blake Krikorian, co-founder of Sling Media; Frank Chen, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz; David McIntosh, CEO of Redux.
  • UK: Jamillah Knowles, UK editor for The Next Web; Ralph Becker, Senior Business Producer at Sony; Suveer Kothari, Head of Global Distribution Partnerships, Google TV; Eze Vidra, Head of Campus London; Rob Kniaz, Venture Capitalist

For more information on Google TV developer resources, visit our developer website, and stay tuned on our Google TV Developer Google+ page for more information and upcoming events.

Posted by Paul Carff, Google TV Senior Developer Advocate and by Catherine Liang and Peter Sherman, Google TV Product Marketing Managers

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Google TV more personal with TV & Movies

With hundreds of channels available from your cable or satellite provider, along with great Internet-based content providers like Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO and more, your TV choices can sometimes feel overwhelming. Google TV's refreshed TV & Movies app makes this feeling history. With TV & Movies you get personalized choices across all of your content options in a layout that’s easy to use, as well as features that keep you in the loop of what's on your favorite channels and remind you about stuff you've been meaning to watch.

More info makes it easier to decide
Wonder if that’s the latest episode of Attack of the Show? Wonder no longer. We’ve expanded the info below every TV show, movie, sports game, and any other program so you can more easily decide what to watch. We’ve also added a handy menu for those of you that want to dive deep into the details, rate a title 1-5 stars, tell us you’re not interested or add it to your favorites.

Find your favorites faster
Speaking of favorites... do you love all things AMC? Can’t get enough of ESPN? When you add them to Favorite Channels you’ll instantly see what show is currently playing on each. Add all your favorite channels and you’ll have a one-stop personalized guide of just the channels you care about. You can also add favorite TV shows and movies to your queue so you can come back later and watch them on Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO and more.

Tuned to your taste
When you open the new version of TV & Movies for the first time, you’ll be asked to login and rate a series of movies and TV shows. We use feedback like your ratings so you get recommendations that are made just for you.

If you’re in the mood for a great new show to watch, check out the new Trending This Week shelf in Shows. These shows are trending on the web based on what we’re seeing in Google Search, and it’s updated every day so you never miss out.

As Google TV keeps bringing more entertainment into your living room, the new TV & Movies app makes it easier to find the shows and movies you love and discover great new ones to watch.  It’s like making your TV work for you, which we think is pretty smart.

As always, find us on Google+ for more of the latest news, tips and tricks for Google TV.

Posted by Greg Funk, Google TV Product Manager

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vacation or Staycation?

Posted by Catherine Liang, Google TV Product Marketing Manager
The cold weather is behind us, the signs of spring are in full gear, and here in Mountain View, it’s time for a sun-filled spring break. Whether you are taking that much-needed vacation or planning a relaxing staycation, Google TV has you covered. Check out these apps to help you stay or go:

1. Research the destinations at the top of your list with Panoramio
Panoramio is a photo-sharing community that brings you scenic photos from around the globe mapped to their destinations with Google Earth and Google Maps. If you’re interested in Cozumel, check out Paradise Beach. If it’s the Bahamas that strike your fancy, take a look at the beaches, sunsets, and resorts before locking down those travel plans. Search for a destination you have in mind, or use “Cool Places” and be surprised!

For the perfect staycation, you can use Panoramio to go island hopping in the Caribbean, and check out the amazing beaches on the Island of Martinique. You can transport yourself to Hawaii, and watch the sunset in South Maui and the dolphins jumping out of the water off the coast of the Big Island. All without having to leave the comfort of your couch.

2. Plan your next vacation with Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff
If you’re trying to decide on a vacation spot, use the Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff for some breathtaking inspiration. Trey Ratcliff is an amazing photographer with an innate ability for capturing the beauty of exotic destinations. He uses the HDRI (high dynamic range imaging) technique, combining multiple images and adjusting contrast ratios, to bring out the intensity in his photos. Browse through his collection on your big screen and watch as the colors pop. Palm Beach comes to life with stunning shots of its beaches, pools, and sunsets.

For staycationers, transform your humble abode into an exotic destination. The vivid photos on your high definition TV will make you feel like you can jump right into the water in St. Kitts, or reach out and touch the sand on the Isla de Vieques.

3. Prepare for your trip using FlightTrack
Destination: Puerto Vallarta. Boeing 737, Delay Forecast: On time 70%. Use FlightTrack on your Google TV to stay up-to-date on your flight information. Watch the planes travel across the screen with the flight maps, predict potential travel disruptions with the flight delay forecast, and check out where you’ll be lounging on the flight with SeatGuru’s airplane seating maps.

4. Transform your living room into the airport of your choice with FlightBoard
FlightBoard lets you check the real-time status of your flight before you leave the house. Imagine you are in Paris with the look and feel of the board based on the one in Charles de Gaulle airport. Spark your curiosity and glance at what planes are arriving and departing in Lima, Amsterdam, Bangkok, or another travel destinations.

Tell us what you think on our Google+ Page. Vacation or staycation? What destination is at the top of your list? And if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Posted by Catherine Liang, Google TV Product Marketing Manager

Monday, April 9, 2012

Google TV Hackathon Weekend: TV-Loving Android Geeks Unite

Android developers, the biggest screen in the house is ready to be hacked.

We’ve teamed up with the Silicon Valley Android Developers Group (SVAndroid) and with the London Android Group (Londroid) to host weekend events hacking, playing with, and creating new experiences on Google TV. Welcome to the first ever Google TV Hackathon Weekend!

SVAndroid @ Google, Mountain View, CA

Come on down to Google TV’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. Our expert judges will include Blake Krikorian, co-founder and former CEO of Sling Media; Mark Mangiola, Venture Partner at Canaan Partners; and Drew Olanoff, West Coast Editor of The Next Web.

Tickets are $20 and must be purchased by April 17. Join us for the event by registering here.

On Friday, April 20, we’ll kick off with a happy hour where team ideas will be announced. Saturday, April 21 is devoted to building, with breaks for demo sessions, Q&As, and a hangout with Google TV developers. On the Sunday, April 22, the teams will present ideas to judges for the chance to win tickets to Google I/O and other cool prizes.

Londroid @ Google Campus, London, UK

The London event will run in parallel with the Mountain View event, bringing in Android devs from all over Europe. You’ll have the chance to explore and create the future of television in Campus London, the brand spanking new workspace that Google has created for London start-ups.   

We will kick things off bright and early on Saturday, April 21, with introductions and background information on developing for Google TV. Teams will power on through Saturday night so that we can do a round of presentations and prizes at lunchtime on Sunday. Join us for the event by registering here.

See you later this month, and may the best hack win!

Posted by Paul Carff, Google TV Senior Developer Advocate

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bring The Excitement Of The Speedway To Your Google TV

Guest to the Google TV blog, Brian Herbst Sr. Manager - Digital Products of NASCAR Media Group, shares some great features of Nascar Live on the Google TV.

NASCAR is about innovation. So when we had the opportunity to develop a new experience with Google TV that offered our fans the sport’s best video content, on-demand, and blown up for your HD television, we jumped all over it.

The Live app provides everything you need to recap last weekend’s race and understand the key storylines headed into the next major stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The best passes, best sound bites, even the most significant wrecks…all available on demand for your viewing pleasure.

During the season, avid fans can check out their favorite driver’s position in the standings, look ahead on the Schedule page to gather the details of the next track, and view their driver’s best highlights in a vast video library. Fans are able to view content for each of NASCAR’s top 3 series within the app - the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

For the casual fan that needs a little help understanding the sport, we’ve created a “NASCAR 101” section the defines commonly used terms, breaks down the current points system, and provides a history of how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup came to be.

This is the content that helps the fan prepare for race day, when you can complement the network broadcast (on FOX, TNT, or ESPN) with some of the most engaging features from the app – live leaderboard and lap-by-lap text updates.

Live leaderboard gives you real-time tracking of driver performance relative to the rest of the field, while lap-by-lap provides quick descriptions of the action that’s happening on the track.

Pair the race broadcast with these Google TV features using picture-in-picture mode and you’ll be sure to make your buddies jealous.

At NASCAR, it’s our goal to provide more content in more places, giving the fan all the tools to engage in the sport, wherever they are. From the traditional web to mobile to social and now the television, Google has been a great partner in providing the touch points that allow us to deliver that content.

Download the app from the Google Play Store on your Google TV.

Guest post created by Brian Herbst, Sr. Manager - Digital Products of NASCAR Media Group

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Introducing Google TV Click: Real Interaction with Your TV

Think of all those times when you screamed at your favorite TV shows or movies urging the actors finally to have that long awaited kiss (“Go for it!”) or avoid a terrible life-changing decision (“Don’t go in there!”). Now Google TV is making this possible with Google TV Click, an innovative remote control app for your phone and tablet that lets you interact with shows and movies as they’re playing.  

Using the magic of our Common Gateway Interface technology and the patented Motion Beaming feature on your favorite celebrities, you can control the actors, settings, and overall flow of programs. Bored by a dreary atmosphere? Move the show to a tropical beach or an exotic jungle! Did Jar Jar Binks ruin the Star Wars prequels for you? Blast him off on a shuttle to a galaxy far, far away. With Google TV Click you are in control and can ensure that every TV viewing experience is to your satisfaction


We have extensively tested Google TV Click. The Matrix took a very different turn when we had Neo take the blue pill. In our version of Mad Men, Don and Betty are now happily back together.  Our second time through 300, we decided to give the Spartans helicopter support.  And we’re excited to see the drama continue now that we kept Shane from getting killed on The Walking Dead.

Give it a try, and take your TV watching to a new level. Our initial roll-out of Google Click will be available for download from the Google Play Store for one day only — April 31, 2012.  We hope you’re ready, because you haven’t seen anything like this before!

Posted by the Google TV team