Google TV: Round 2

Google TV is back. After an abortive first attempt two years ago, the second generation is getting close to shipping. Both Sony and Vizio have announced network media players based on the Google software, and LG has a new LCD HDTV with the feature.

Google TV is intended to bridge the traditional subscription television and over-the-air broadcasts with the growing choices available on the Internet. For example, you should be able to search for a specific movie, and the system will return listings from your broadcast choices as well as options for watching it online with streaming video.

Google also plans to expand the┬áservice’s Google Play options later this summer, offering new choices in addition to the 100,000 television episodes and movies that are already available.

With list prices of $100 to $200, the network media players from Vizio and Sony can instantly add next-gen smarts to any television. A simple upgrade like this may be enough for many consumers to decide to stick with their existing television a bit longer.