The search giant promised at Google I/O last month that it would re-imagine the Google TV project around the Android 3.1 version modified for the set-top box project. They call it the “Fishtank” project and Geek.com has first details. The box Google shipped to some fifty developers contains a 45nm Intel CE4100 chipset that handles Flash and 3D gaming and runs the unreleased Google TV 2.0 beta software.
The back of this device shows quite a few more ports than what’s available on existing Google TV set top boxes, including coaxial ports, which would suggest Google has decided to let non-HD users enjoy Google TV as well. This is still a reference hardware, however, so there is nothing that says that any of these ports will be on the back of the next Google TV device, but it is clear that Google is allowing developers access to a great deal more video-in and video-out possibilities.
Author Russell Holly notes that Google TV 2.0 beta includes a new Clock app, the full version of Chrome replacing the previously used Android browser and the Live TV functionality. “Currently, Live TV functions in such a way that allows it to broadcast behind the home screen while you do something else. At this time, developers will not have access to the live TV feed while it’s not in direct focus”, Holly explains, pointing out at a disconnect between Google and developers participating in the program over whether Google will provide APIs so third-party apps can overlay data on top of live TV content. Multitasking seems to have been enhanced with Dual View mode which too suggests the ability to run either two apps side-by-side or an app next to live television.