Friday, February 25, 2011

An all-access pass to the Oscars

This Sunday, millions of eyes will turn to the TV screen to watch to watch the 83rd Academy Awards, a ceremony celebrating Hollywood's best filmmakers. In order to make sure you're best prepared for the big event, we thought we'd list a few of our favorite Oscar-worthy sites, all of which are viewable from Google TV.

  • Educate yourself on the nominees. YouTube Trends has developed a lineup of the most viewed trailers from the list of nominees for this year's show. Not surprisingly, Toy Story 3 and Black Swan top the list.
  • Got an eye for fashion? Feast your eyes on last year's red carpet fashions from E! Online. It seems like ages ago that we saw Sandra Bullock in that glamorous gold dress. What will they wear this year?
  • Watch the hosts prepare for the big show on the official Youtube Oscars channel. Here's our favorite video of Anne Hathaway and James Franco preparing to take the stage.
  • No cable? No problem. With the Oscar All Access Pass, you can direct your own Oscars experience and get a behind the scenes look at everything from the red carpet to the Governor's Ball. Interested in the show only? Catch the livestream channels from both the Academy Awards and AP Live
  • Make your bets! lets you review the full list of nominations and cast your votes for the winner. Send the link to your friends to see who gets the most right.
We'll certainly be tuning in for the entire event this Sunday, and hope you will follow along as well, whether its from TV or the web. Best of luck to the nominees!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amazon Prime members now get free instant streaming

Best of Google TV Series
I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for a while now and love the free two day shipping, especially when I’m keen to get my hands on the latest Google TV device as soon as possible.
Now there’s even more reason for Google TV users to love this service. Amazon currently has over 90,000 movies and TV shows that you can stream instantly on your Google TV device for a few dollars. Well, they have just announced that Amazon Prime members will also get unlimited, commercial-free access to more than 5,000 of those movies and TV shows, for no additional cost. Titles include “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Syriana,” “March of the Penguins,” and—my personal favorite—”Doctor Who.”

This will work immediately on all Google TV devices, so give it a whirl if you’re an Amazon Prime member. If you don’t already own a Google TV device, then here’s another reason to make the most of that Amazon Prime membership.

Posted by Peter Sherman, Google TV Marketing

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grammys recap

Best of Google TV

If you missed the Grammys last weekend, you can still catch the memorable moments on Google TV.

If what you’re after is the red carpet fashion and interviews, head over to The Grammys YouTube page. Watch the highlights on YouTube leanback including Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine in haute couture and Mumford and Sons in stylish cravats. There you’ll also find acceptance speeches by The Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum and Lady Gaga.

VEVO has curated a playlist of videos featuring the top 2011 Grammy Winners. Check out first time Grammy winners like Ryan Bingham and La Roux, as well multi-time winners like Buddy Guy & B.B. King. Check out these videos as well as recaps from past Grammys on VEVO’s spotlight site.

The full list of nominees and winners is available on the Grammys website where you can also watch the pre-telecast ceremony in its entirety.

Posted by Charlie Harding, Google TV Marketing

Friday, February 11, 2011

Al Jazeera on Google TV

Best of Google TV Series

Over the past two weeks, Al Jazeera has carried 24/7 breaking news coverage of the protests in Egypt. Live video of the protests from Tahrir Square, streaming from and, have driven a 2500% traffic increase to their website. The majority of this traffic has come from the United States, as U.S. viewers can’t access Al Jazeera’s broadcast on television.

This week, Al Jazeera released their Al Jazeera spotlight site where you can watch breaking news clips, scan headline news and dive into the breadth of their web content -- all on the big screen.

For the latest coverage on the protests in Egypt you can also visit Al Jazeera’s YouTube channels in both Arabic and English for premium coverage and CitizenTube for on-the-ground citizen reports.

- Posted by Daniels Lee, Developer Relations

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rate your favorite Super Bowl ads from yesterday's game

If you're an American, you probably know that there was a rather important sporting event that took place yesterday --  the Super Bowl. 

Everyone knows that half the fun of watching the game is watching the commercials. That's why this year we've partnered with our friends at YouTube to optimize the infamous Ad Blitz site so that you can re-watch and rank all of your favorite ads right from your TV. 

Just visit from the Google TV browser and follow the prompts to rate the best 30-second spots as you watch them in HD. May the best ad win!

- Posted by Brittany Bohnet, Google TV Product Marketing

Friday, February 4, 2011

Optimizing your site for TV is now easier

As the Google TV platform continues to launch across more devices, developers are probably searching for an easy way to bring great content to Google TV users. We’re happy to announce that we have an answer.

Google TV enables developers to build powerful websites using the same technologies they already work with. These include HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and Flash. While existing websites can be displayed in Google TV, the user experience isn’t always ideal within the context of a living room. We previously provided a guide for optimizing websites for TV, and today we’re releasing several templates and a UI library to make it easier for developers to build optimized sites.

We’ve created two template designs that are focused on delivering video content, but equally suitable for photos or other multimedia. We recognize that some developers prefer using open web technologies, while others prefer Flash. So we’ve created two separate versions of each template.

All templates are open sourced under the Apache 2 license, so developers can make modifications to these templates and customize them to fit their brand and desired functionality.

One important optimization for browsing websites on TV is ensuring that D-pad navigation works well. The JavaScript-based templates utilizes a new library we’ve developed for this purpose-- the Google TV Web UI Library. This library has been open sourced as well.

To get started, you can download the template you want and visit our Google TV Web Developer Forum to get help. We look forward to seeing all the great sites developers will build using these templates.

By Steve Hines and Daniels Lee, Google TV Developer Relations Team