Upgraded Google TV Features New 'TV & Movies' and NASCAR Apps

-- Google to Upgrade Software Running on TVs and Set-tops from Sony, Logitech

A Google TV software upgrade that the search giant plans to begin rolling out next week includes a new "TV & Movies" app that allows users to browse titles of more than 80,000 movies and TV episodes from both TV networks and online video providers, including HBO Go, Netflix and YouTube

"The initial version of Google TV wasn’t perfect, but launching it gave us the opportunity to learn. These are still early days, and we’re working hard to move forward with each update," Google VP of product development Mario Queiroz wrote in a blog post Friday about the software upgrade. He said Google will begin rolling out the upgrade on connected TVs from Sony early next week, that that Google TV set-tops sold by Logitech will get the ugprade "soon thereafter."

Google is integrating more content from its YouTube subsidiary with the upgrade, letting users create channels based on search topics. "You can turn virtually any topic – mountain biking, cooking, etc. – into a channel," Queiroz said. 

More content suppliers are beginning to develop apps for Google TV, including NASCAR, which developed the first racing app for the platform. NASCAR said Friday that its NASCAR.COM Live app will offer high-definition racing clips on demand, in addition to driver profiles, standings and schedules for its Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series. 

Google launched Google TV in October 2010. The company hasn't disclosed how many viewers have purchased Google TV set-tops from Logitech or connected TVs from Sony that contain its Google TV software. While Google TV could be used purely to navigate online video content, Google is positioning it as a device that cable and satellite subscribers can use to navigate both TV and Web content. 

GigaOM takes a test drive of the new version of Google TV in the YouTube video posted below. 

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