Some time ago we put together a list of tips on formatting your sites so that they would look spiffy in Google TV. They were mostly taken from Google themselves, but now the technology giant has gone even further and have given templates that can be used to format your content properly for the platform. This is probably in response to critics comments on the clunky format, difficulty in reading text, etc. It’s also probably part of an effort to get more people on board with the somewhat flailing product.

If you follow the Google TV blog like some of us do you would have seen some information about why they decided to do this. Namely, websites don’t always transfer well to the living room.

Google TV enables developers to build powerful websites using the same technologies they already work with. These include HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and Flash. While existing websites can be displayed in Google TV, the user experience isn’t always ideal within the context of a living room. As I said they previously provided a guide for optimizing websites for TV (I also wrote a guide to optimize for Google TV here).

Now they’ve got several templates and a UI library to make it easier for developers to build optimized sites.

There are two template designs that are focused on delivering video content, but equally suitable for photos or other multimedia. They acknowledged that some will like to use Flash while others might like non-Flash or HTML5, hence the two sets of templates.


Template #1

Template #2

Template #2

All templates are open sourced under the Apache 2 license, so developers can make modifications to these templates and customize them to fit their brand and desired functionality.

Since some users might have only a remote, it will be important to lay out your content in a way that allows for the D-pad navigation. To that end the Google TV JavaScript-based templates use a specially-designed library for that — the Google TV Web UI Library, also open source.

To get started, you can download the template you want and visit the Google TV Web Developer Forum to get help.

This should greatly improve discovery and navigation, now the only question that remains is, will Google TV market penetration expand or retract and will all this work in templating be worth the effort?