Google's taking a big leap with Google TV -- unlike its competitors, who've all focused on delivering curated video content with inexpensive streaming devices, Google's new platform brings Android, Chrome, and Flash directly to your TV in a variety of hardware configurations from Sony and Logitech. But whether you're adding Google TV to your existing rig with a Logitech Revue or starting from scratch with a Sony Internet TV, the basic experience of using each product is the same -- it's the web on your TV, in all its chaotic and beautiful glory. Is this the future of television? Can Google do what no company has ever managed to do in the past and put a little PC in your TV? The Google TV platform Although all of the Google TV launch devices have their differences, at their core they're all running Android on an Intel CE4100 media processor, which is essentially a 1.2GHz Atom core that's been beefed up with some extra graphics hardware capable of capturing and decoding 1080p video. Google tells us the Intel chip offers the best price / performance ratio right now, but that nothing's written in stone for the future -- just like modern smartphones kicked off furious innovation in the mobile chipset market, Google expects the media-chip market to rapidly become more competitive in the future in response to connected TV devices. But for right now it's Atom, which is a big win for Intel in this space -- and in fact, Intel claims to have written half of Google TV's code. Obviously, the Android build used for Google TV isn't the same as what's used on phones -- in fact, unlike the phone version of Android, the Google TV stack is still proprietary within Google and hasn't been open-sourced yet. We're told the plan is to open-source things by summer 2011, and that Google TV will follow the same model as Android and the Google apps on phones, with some Google-specific TV apps remaining closed-source and not part of the general distribution. We'd guess Google TV Marketplace will be restricted to Google-blessed devices, but it hasn't launched yet, so we don't know for sure. Speaking of Marketplace and the fact it hasn't launched... well, it hasn't launched. Google says it's still putting the appropriate APIs together and cleaning up the platform requirements so that app developers will have an easier time of things, but don't expect to see any apps on Google TV until early next year at the soonest. We're honestly extremely curious and excited to see what app developers can do once they can write Android apps for a reasonably quick processor and TV screen sizes, but that's all just potential right now -- at launch, Google TV devices ship with handful of bundled apps like Netflix, NBA GameTime, and (thrillingly) CNBC Real Time, but that's it. We'll revisit Google TV once there are more apps, but for now this part of the platform and the experience is a question mark. It's more than easy to see Google TV as one large bet on Flash content delivery, at least in the short term. And finally -- and most importantly -- there's Chrome and Flash. Google's using a new Android- and TV-specific port of its desktop browser on Google TV, and yes, friends, it runs Flash 10.1 beta. In fact, from a broad perspective it's more than easy to see Google TV as one large bet on Flash content delivery, at least in the short term -- almost everything you're navigating to in Chrome is a Flash video. For example, Google's own YouTube -- one of the first sites to provide HTML5 video playback -- loads up its Flash player on Google TV, because that's the only way Google can serve ads during the content. Seriously -- that's what Google told us. YouTube LeanBack, the TV-optimized version of YouTube, is also Flash-based, presumably for the same reason. Obviously things will change once there are apps and possibly more robust HTML5 video solutions, but right now Google TV is an extremely Flash-intensive product.