The Google TV blog was updated on Monday with news that the HDTV-focused OS now supports Google Play movies, TV shows and music. This is a needed move on Google's part as it battles Amazon and Apple in the home theater sector. Now Google has the upper hand, serving up its library of media directly to set-top boxes and Google TV-integrated HDTVs in addition to smartphones and tablets with HDMI/DNLA support.
"You’ll be able to buy or rent content directly through the Google Play Store on Google TV, and purchases you’ve made on other devices will also be automatically available on Google TV," said Ambarish Kenghe, Google TV Product Manager. "Google Play titles will also be discoverable through our TV & Movies app, which brings recommendations for shows and movies available on live TV and apps like Netflix, Amazon, and now Google Play."
For developers, this update also enables many other Google Play features including auto-updates, subscription billing, and smart app updates, he added.
Vizio's Co-Star is one of the latest devices to feature Google TV 2.0. The gadget is priced at $99.99 and available only online. But the company seemingly has trouble keeping the device in stock, and has now added Amazon as a partner distributor. Amazon's listing states that the device usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Owners of a Google TV HDTV or set-top box can pull up movies and TV shows from a host of online sources including Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and more. Gamers can stream console and PC games through Onlive while music enthusiasts can listen to their favorite artists through iHeartRadio, Pandora and other Android-based apps.
But with Google Play media support now on Google TV, consumers can rent or purchase movies and TV shows from any Android device. Amazon offers digital movies and TV shows as well, but playback devices are limited to a handful of gadgets including the Kindle Fire tablets. Music purchased from Amazon can be streamed through its Amazon MP3 app.
"Google Play gives you one place to find, enjoy and share your favorite entertainment with millions of songs and thousands of movies and TV shows for sale, and adds to the millions of entertainment options available for you on Google TV through YouTube, TV & Movies, Search and the full web through Chrome," Kenghe said in the blog.