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Google to enter TV set-top box race against Apple, Amazon


Google (GOOG) is set to enter the battle for your television time.

The search giant is expected to unveil a new television set-top box at its developer conference later Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The product will be similar to those already on the market, such as Amazon’s (AMZN) Fire TV and Apple’s (AAPL) Apple TV.

Google’s branded TV device will be powered by an extension of the company’s Android software that is optimized to play movies, games and other content on television screens. The box will work seamlessly within the Android eco-system to sync with smartphones or tablets — and potentially other devices, people who had seen the set-top told the paper.

The Android universe will also extend to wearable devices as Google reveals its first line of smartwatches at the developers conference, which will boast the Android Wear technology.

Google’s traditional strategy is to build out the software, essentially the brains of devices, and license it to hardware makers to power their gear. Google hasn’t said whether the company will design its own version of a set-top box or plans to license the software to other hardware makers, similar to its smartphone strategy.

Google’s I/O developer conference will kickoff at 9 a.m. PT Wednesday in San Francisco, Calif. and can be watched online here.