Google wants to change the way we watch TV. On Thursday the search giant unveiled Google TV--its new service that integrates live TV and the Internet. It operates on set-top boxes that are WiFi enabled and connect to standard cable. It will also have a keyboard and "pointing device." Google reps explained a slew of other exciting features at its conference and techies are teaming with excitement. Here are the highlights:

  • You Can Search Live TV and the Web!, exclaims Addy Dugdale at Fast Company: "Users can pull up a search box via the remote, and search both live TV and the web for their favorite shows. Type in the name of a show and you get listings for future programs on all channels, allowing you to record them if you have a DVR, or to stream the shows directly from Hulu and Amazon. You can also watch clips that you might have missed on the web--Chandra demonstrated this with the State of the Union speech via the White House website."
  • Multitasking, observes Rob Pegoraro at The Washington Post: "You can watch a show in one corner of the TV screen, then use the rest to browse one Web page or another. You can also have Google TV schedule a recording on a separate digital video recorder, once you wire the former to control the latter."
  • There'll Be an App for Everything, praises Michael Melanson at Read Write Web: "As Google notes in its blog about Google TV, much of what it showed today is just the tip of the iceberg, as the company is opening up Google TV to developers with an upcoming SDK and API release. We think this is likely where Google TV will be most exciting - the creations of developers using Google developer tools. Instead of having a more closed system, Google's use of developer tools and integration of the Android market place is going to make Google TV the real rebirth of Web TV."
  • Auto-Translation of Subtitles, beams Vincent Nguyen at Slash Gear: "There's also integration with Google's language services, allowing for instantaneous subtitle creation translated from the broadcast language to whichever other language you'd prefer (and that Google supports)."
  • Best. Remote. Ever. hails Vince Veneziani at Business Insider: "Your Android phone is now a remote. You can speak commands to your TV like "Good Morning America" and the appropriate show will turn on instantly. If you hate fighting over the TV remote, just use two Android phones. Problem solved. Speaking of Android, a lot of existing Android apps in the Marketplace will work on Google TV. No porting required. It's a developer's dream come true."