Google and Intel are working on a web TV platform and will shortly announce a deal with Sony, FT.com reports.
The platform, based on Intel’s Atom microprocessor and Google’s Android operating system, is aimed at bringing web content to TV sets.
The two partners will unveil an agreement with Sony during Google’s annual developer conference in San Francisco this week, the FTsaid.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini told analysts last week that TV is about to go through its “biggest single change” since the arrival of color, but to date neither company has gained much traction in the sector.
The combination of Blu-ray, HDTV and 3D TV are transforming the TV hardware business at the same time as the arrival of super-fast broadband and the proliferation of social networking services.
Telecom service providers are potential prime customers of the Google-Intel platform. Intel has an order backlog of 1 million units for its Atom processor, with telcos France Telecom and Telecom Italia among those waiting to deploy it in set-top boxes.
“We’re seeing the beginning of explosive growth,” said Eric Kim, head of Intel’s Digital Home group. The company was gearing up for “a massive retail launch” of connected devices this year.
For Google, the opportunity lies in the demand for applications to help viewers interact with each other and access services and content via the TV set.
It is likely to pitch TV apps to its Android developer community at its conference this week.