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Google Now’s New TV Info Feature is Pretty Awesome

google now tv

This morning, Google updated its Search app for Android to include a new TV information card that can be viewed through Google Now. It requires you to have a WiFi-enabled TV, with your TV and phone connected to the same network in order to work, but otherwise doesn’t need any other setup. No pairing, codes, or IR blasters are necessary. So since I happen to have a TV with WiFi, I decided to see what the experience is like and how exactly it works. After waiting a few minutes for Google Now to find my TV, I can now safely say that this will probably be one of my most used Google Now cards. 

As I mentioned, it took a minute for Google Now to realize that my TV was on, but within a couple of minutes, I was greeted in Google Now with a card that asked if I was “Watching live TV?” It also mentioned that it found my LG TV through my WiFi network, and then asked that I tap to “Listen for a TV show,” just as Google described this morning. So I did!

I happened to be on HGTV at first, and sure enough, Google Now listened to the show (similarly to how it does with Music) and then returned a result for Property Brothers (which was actually on TV). I then tapped the “Read more” button and was taken to a Google Search results page for the show to find out more information.

But that’s just the beginning – it gets better.

google now tv1

If you are watching a movie, Google Now will return overviews of the film, show you the starring actors, provide bios to some of them, and then even list out supporting roles at the bottom, all with quick cards to give you more info.

google now tv2

I even tried a live sporting event (Brazil vs. Uruguay, Confederations Cup), thinking it wouldn’t stand a chance. It proved me wrong, showing the listing for the match, followed by a list of players that I could quickly find more info on with “Read more” links.

google now tv3

While I don’t consume a massive amount of TV, I still find myself often wondering if actors in shows or movies are in anything else, who the director might be, which teams a certain player used to play for or what college he attended, who the coach of team is, etc., etc. With Google Now showing TV information, all of this info immediately becomes more accessible. Thanks, Google.

  • Christopher Smith

    this is cool but IMDB works fine for me.

  • Uncle Paul

    Joke… 2 LG 47GA6400 GOOGLE TV Tvs in my house..
    GNEX – Newest Google search update..

    dosent see anything…

    • Uncle Paul

      These are the BRAND NEW LG 3d google tvs. and GREAT sets..

      • Nathaniel_Graham

        Same issue. My LG 47 inch Google TV doesn’t get detected.

  • joejoe5709

    How is this different than Shazaam and why does it need to be connected to my TV?

  • toonz333

    I couldn’t get it to work on my Sharp Aquos

  • ddevito

    Umm, one would think this would have worked with…

    GOOGLE TV!

    #facepalm

  • ddevito

    I’m not sure if everyone knew this (I didn’t)….

    I have a trip this weekend and it’s in my calendar. Google Now is showing me a weather card for that city. AWESOME

  • KaZx

    Didn’t work on my Samsung tv.

  • socalrailroader

    Hmm, my 1 year old Sony TV is connected to my network via WiFi, but Google Now doesn’t do a thing. No worries, I have the TV app and Directv App on my HTC One :) My Directv DVR is hooked via Ethernet, maybe that’s why it’s not doing anything.

  • George Robarge

    I’ve had both my Panasonic smart tv and phone connected to the same wifi for two hours now and Google Now doesn’t show anything about tv. Not sure how you are supposed to connect the two, because it sure isn’t doing it on it’s own.

  • David Dudovitz

    I have a Vizio SmartTV, and it is not popping up.

    • Steve Secor

      See Joshua Wise’s comment to my post.

  • Steve Secor

    Not working for me. I have a Vizio E601i-A3 connected to DirecTV. Bummer…

    • Joshua Wise

      Vizio televisions come up with no name in DHCP, I think that’s why. My Samsung is working though.

      • Steve Secor

        You’re right. Any idea how to set a host name?

        • Joshua Wise

          Not that I saw in the TV’s settings, kind of disappointing. Haha, if I find something I will let you know.

          • Steve Secor

            Yeah I couldn’t find anything either. Thanks!

  • RGiskard

    Who watches live TV anymore? I assume this won’t work with timeshifted programs, right?

    • Lakerfan

      you must not watch sports

      • RGiskard

        What are sports? ;-)

    • Chris

      lots of people. I dont watch any TV but I know this. If no one watched live TV there would be no live TV…

      • RGiskard

        I’m not sure I agree. I think live TV exists because broadcasters won’t move to a TV over IP delivery model (it would destroy the traditional advertising system), not because people want live TV (except for sports, maybe). I think the success of House of Cards is showing that people enjoy being able to control when/how they watch TV. I haven’t watched a live program in years. On the rare occasions I want to watch a show in close to realtime, I’l still start late so I can skip commercials.

  • Tyler Casilio

    So it’s like Xbox SmartGlass. I hate SmartGlass. I am a PS4 guy though so

  • pd240

    My directv box is connected to wifi….doesn’t look like it supports it. Would be nice to get this in the next update.

    • https://plus.google.com/113924127356889315682?tab=ch#113924127356889315682/posts//p/pub Chris Jeske

      ^ This.
      Though I have to say the DirecTV tablet app on my Xoom is pretty friggin’ stellar. If you don’t have it – GET IT. It has the Ethernet API for the box built in.

      • Nathaniel Newman

        I’ve got it for my cheap tablet. I’m hoping they come out with a version for my Maxx HD soon!

    • Nathaniel Newman

      Agreed. My 4 year old Vizio 32″ isn’t Wifi/Network enabled. However my DirecTV receiver IS! Support for that would be awesome!

  • Adam Elghor

    I too am watching property brothers

  • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

    There seems to be a massive misunderstanding here. It sounds to me like this uses audio to detect what show you are watching and deliver information to you…just like the Google Sound Search feature works and just like Shazam or SoundHound work, except for TV and Movies.

    So NO…doesn’t look like you need anything special in terms of a TV connected online or Google TV. It can still use sound search to work and deliver information on non connected TVs. So YES this would work with Hulu and Netflix as its simply searching the audio.

    Sounds like it’s even better if your on a connected TV, but not necessary to make use of the feature.

    • Marc Ross

      I’m on my phone so I’m not giving an exact quote, but on Google’s info page it specifically says that this won’t work with Netflix, amazon, or DVR shows. I don’t exactly know why it wouldn’t work, but it does NEED to be used with a smart TV.

      • Higher_Ground

        Maybe so it narrows the search down to only shows that are currently airing on live TV in your area? If possible that would make it a lot more accurate.

  • je ns

    kellex, how do you get the “line” instead of the “square” as recent button on your nexus 4? ( on older pics you had the square aswell)

    i have the same softkeybuttons but not the line :(

    • Tyler

      Its the same softkeys as the HTC First, if you have root, SoftkeyZ will allow you to change them.

  • Nate Bousfield

    Can somebody test if this will work with a Roku? It’s not a TV but it might work.

  • Lakerfan

    i’m confused as to why the tv needs to be a smart tv if google now is just listening to the show to find out what you are watching.

    • Crazydog

      Probably so that the card isn’t always there. They should release a TV app similar to the sound search app to get around this problem. Not sure if the voice search could discern a TV show from talking, like it can with music.

    • Simon Belmont

      This! I was wondering the same thing.

      Hopefully Google will make it not be a requirement in the future. It sounds cool!

    • albert calpito

      It is not listening to the show to find bout what you are watching. It gets the information from the TV since they bare on then same WiFi. When you click the listen now, it will sample audio and make sure it matches the audio signature that the TV is putting out. Once that is confirmed it will show you information about what you are watching. It is done this way to make sure you are in fact in front of the TV. They do not want someone in a different room of the house pulling information about something they are not watching.

  • Ali Ataya

    Eww. HTC first

    • Michael

      Nope he’s just using the buttons from them.

  • Jason Kahn

    What about a HTPC, I have a Ceton Infinti 4 TV Tuner running through Windows media Center, with a FIOS cable card. I haven’t gotten the update yet can someone tell me if this works?

  • ddh819

    hopefully it works with a tv connected by ethernet, but i wonder if there is a way to force it to listen to your tv show even if you don’t have a smart tv

    • Michael Martin

      just confirmed after 3 minutes it did pickup my tv with ethernet cable put in. not even a smart tv really, its like a 3+year old LED Samsung

      • ryan

        Any thoughts on how you were able to accomplish this? I have a new Samsung LED Smart TV with Ethernet cord plugged directly into the TV and the card will not show up….

        • Michael Martin

          I did absolutely nothing, I sat and refreshed google now a few times and it appeared as the top card. It doesnt specify the tv type or name and is honestly not working as good as it does for Kellex. It almost never comes up with results and when it does its wrong every time. I think you really need a smart tv, if not a google tv for optimization of this.

  • Josh Flowers

    great, now another reason for me to impatiently wait for my HDtv to break so i can replace it with a Smart tv.

    • Perv Bear

      I’m waiting for nice price 60inch 4k TV then I’m giving my HDTV away. Its a small 42 inch lcd. Ewww

      • John Davids

        That would be a pretty big waste of money considering 4K source material is virtually non-existent and won’t be for quite some time.

        • http://www.twitter.com/iwinrar iWinRar

          Since it doubles as a monitor I don’t give a rats ass.

          • John Davids

            Its ok sweat pea, let it out.

    • michael arazan

      or just download TV Guide app, and set it up with your cable/ satellite provider, its free

      I added an Android stick to my regular HDTV turning it into a smart TV basically

  • SewWhat

    Can anyone comment as to if it functions in conjunction to a G-tv box?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Well, I use a Sony Google TV box with my LG TV, but it pulled up my TV rather than the GTV box.

    • Ryan Stewart

      Doesnt appear to be aware of my Revue.

  • mike dunham

    I also have a LG internet capable TV but it does not have Google TV built in. Can you confirm if your LG is a Google TV or not?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Not a Google TV, just a Smart TV.

      • THland

        Will it pull info from the Apps provided within the Wifi enabled TV (Netflix/Hulu)? or just shows from standard sources (Cable Box)

        Edit: Thinking about my question now, i would assume this would require some sort of partnership deal. Would be sweet to see this kind of stuff coming from my Roku box though ::cough::cough:: GOOGLE!

  • Brent Cooper

    Im a little confused…so will this work with any wireless tv? What if I have a cable box? :/

    Edit: does my tv have to be on?

    • ddh819

      sounds like its just checking to see if the tv is on using wifi, and actually uses audio to figure out what show you are watching. in the screenshots kellex is watching cable, probably using a cable box.

      • Brent Cooper

        Thanks! My Phones on wifi now so ill see what happens

        • nicotinic

          thanks for the update…