Google plans blended TV-Internet service

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Mountain View, Calif.—Google announced plans for Google TV, an initiative with technology partners to merge the viewing and advertising experiences of television and the Internet.

Google TV, announced Thursday and to be rolled out in the fall, will allow viewers to access Internet content on their TVs along with regular broadcast and cable programming, all through a single search box similar to the Google Internet search engine function. Users will also be able to access the Internet at the same time they're watching TV.

Google is partnering with Intel Corp., Logitech and Sony Corp. to bring to market special TV sets, keyboard-equipped remote controls, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes capable of accessing the Google TV service.

The initiative also promises to meld TV and Internet advertising. EMarketer has estimated that online ad spending in the U.S. will hit $25 billion this year, including $1.5 billion spent on digital video ad spending, compared with an estimated $70 billion spent on TV spots.

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