Google TV could be launched in South Africa

Internet giant Google plans to roll out its internet TV service around the world starting next year - and it might be heading for South Africa. Google launched Sony Internet TV in the US last month and viewers there are now able to watch TV and browse the internet on the same screen at the same time using a wireless internet platform. Sony Internet TV requires viewers to buy high-tech Sony TV sets that have a built-in web browser - so viewers will not need land-line access to take advantage of the service. With Google TV, viewers can search for shows by typing "what's on" on the navigator and clicking on a programme category such as "comedy" or "sports". Viewers can also search for their favourite TV shows by name. Sony Internet TV sets, which have high-definition monitors, costs about R4,197 for a 61cm screen and up to R9,799 for a 117cm screen. Ms. Taylor, a spokesman for Google South Africa, said there was no indication at this stage on when the service will be available in South Africa. "Google TV is currently available in the US only. It will be available internationally next year and we will have more to announce then," she said. Taylor said there is no monthly subscription for Google TV. "The user would maintain a regular internet connection through his internet service provider. Google TV is not a service, it is a platform. It brings the internet to your TV, similar to the way in which the browser on your computer or phone allows you to access the internet," she said. "What Google TV does is bring your existing web experience to your TV, which is usually the biggest and best screen in your house." Timothy Barnard, product manager for Bravia at Sony SA, said there was neither a launch date nor pricing information available for South Africa because Sony needed to take a joint decision with Google "based on the country's infrastructure".