Friday, December 10, 2010

How to get your family on Google TV


Best of Google TV series

As the holidays get into full swing, I am spending more and more time with my extended family, getting in to all kinds of fun. Like any self-respecting embarrassing dad, I love capturing these precious moments by making tons of great little videos and taking even more photos. I no longer need any fancy equipment to do this – most smart-phones now take great photos and videos (I love my Nexus S, if you're interested.)

The best part is that we can all slump on the sofa and re-live the best moments on my TV whenever we want, because it's powered by Google TV. In the not-so-distant past, your family would only get on TV if they were (un)lucky enough to get onto a TV show. More recently, you would have to find the right lead, plug your high-end camera into your TV and navigate though impossible menus and settings.

Now, you don't need any fancy equipment to do this, either. My preference is to do a little editing, then save the best photos and videos to a Picasa Web Album, which I can do straight from my phone. Using the Gallery app on my TV, which syncs to Picasa, I immediately have a slide-show on a 46" photo-frame right in the living room. We've had a lot of fun using Picnik to add silly effects to our photos.

I tend to upload the very best videos to YouTube, so that the world can share my family insanity. Watching these in Leanback mode on TV makes it feel like we've almost got our own TV channel – it's even in HD, which is pretty incredible for something recorded on a phone.

The most important point is that you don't need to use the same services I do. Because Google TV has a full web browser, it can access any website you want to use. For example Flickr looks great on the big screen and Vimeo Couch Mode is optimized for viewing on Google TV.

When I say you can get your family on TV, I mean all of them, wherever they are in the world. If you have the Logitech TV Cam, you can video chat with friends and family on the big screen (no more huddling around a tiny laptop screen).

Posted by Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Product Management Team