In what is still a virgin market, more than a few companies are targeting software and hardware to bring the Internet (and more) into your living room .... and on to your TV.
MG Siegler writes about Google's new TV initiative at TechCrunch here. The video clears up a lot of questions about Google's intentions. The TechCrunch piece also mentions Apple TV and Microsoft's Xbox 360.
There are (a lot) of other players.
Microsoft has built-in (free to registered users) the new Windows Media Center in Windows 7 and while it doesn't have the content of say, Apple's iTunes, it does offer the functionality to stream video, record, search and port to almost any TV assuming your PC has the system resources and ports. It also comes pre-loaded with Netflix and a variety of 'channels' which continue to grow (and be automatically updated).
Yahoo! entered this market last year with the Yahoo! TV widget and deals with numerous TV manufacturers to build-in Yahoo! content. Last night, the company went a step further entering into a worldwide agreement with Sony that will bring their product to over 100 countries or, as their blog post says, increasing the availability of Yahoo! on your TV by seven-fold.
It's a pretty safe bet that most people 'connecting' their TV's today are using an Xbox or simply porting video and audio from PCs and watching Hulu or one of the multitude of other emerging TV programming online aggregators. CBS continues an online push with TV.com, and of course, the TV networks themselves are already streaming. Google's YouTube is there as well with increased HD content.
Comcast, barring regulatory issues, will most likely soon own NBC Universal. The company has already launched several TV-related Internet portals.
A 30 billion dollar merger currently under heavy scrutiny by the FCC.
Think about this.
Advertising buyers are already having a tough time deciding where to place their 'recession-limited' ad dollars.
That's all going to change .... and it could happen a lot sooner than most anticipate.