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Google TV coming to the UK

Will the broadband network be able to take the pace?

Google TV, the internet TV service that puts Android on your television set, is set to launch in the UK within six months, Google will reveal today.

According to a report on The Telegraph, Google chairman Eric Schmidt will reveal plans to bring the Google TV to the UK when he gives the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival this evening.

See also: Google TV review

Google TV lets viewers switch between TV broadcasts and the internet on the same set, allowing users to watch iPlayer, for instance, or a high definition version of YouTube. The service is accessed via a set-top box or adapted telly, and also allows you to search the web from your TV, and use smartphones and tablets as your TV remote. Google TV users can use Android apps on their gogglebox, too.

You plug your current set-top box into the Google TV device, and your current television service then routes through the Google TV and comes out via a second HDMI cable that runs to your TV.

Television plays as normal, but press the Google TV home button and an interface overlays the television display; introducing access to search, applications, and a number of integrated services.

In the UK this will include not just BBC iPlayer, but 4oD and ITV Catch Up and all of the IPTV services you can access on your computer: Seesaw, TVCatchup.com, Sky Anytime+, YouView, Five.Tv, STV and uPlayer.

One issue with roll-out in the UK may be broadband provision. ISPs have previously grumbled about the amount of bandwidth BBC iPlayer can take up, for instance, and if Google TV and similar services become very popular, the strain on Britain's ageing networks will begin to show.

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