Google just kicked its Google Fiber efforts into overdrive. The company's Kansas City effort is getting a full launch and now includes Google Fiber TV -- a "real" TV service with recognizable channels and its own, fully searchable interface that mixes DVR results with Netflix and YouTube. As many as 500 shows can be stored in full 1080p HD, and several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time.. Not surprisingly, there's also a major mobile component taking advantage of that 1Gbps fiber link, as users will have the option of browsing, sharing and eventually watching live TV directly from tablet apps. The company is also promising an ever-evolving service that includes Google+ video hangouts. For hardware, Google has its own dedicated Network Box with a four-port gigabit Ethernet router and 802.11n WiFi, a TV Box with live viewing and a WiFi access point as well as a Storage Box DVR with 2TB of data and the ability to record eight shows at once. Your remote control? A free, bundled Nexus 7 tablet, naturally.
The overall service will come with 1TB of Google Drive space, although it's expensive to get started: there's a $300 "construction fee" (currently being waived) to wire a home for the fiber optics. Three packages will be on offer, starting with a Gigabit + TV package that includes the essentials, all major channels and "hundreds" of fiber channels (plus on-demand content) for $120 a month. Skip traditional TV and it costs $70 a month -- and if you're a local resident willing to pony up the construction free, you can get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years. Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free, as well. Only small slices of Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas state should have access at first, but Google is conducting a six-week "rally" where the most people paying a $10 pre-registration fee dictate where Google Fiber goes next. Now if only other cities would go the same route.
Update: The full event replay is available for your inspection after the break.
Google Fiber July 26 eventSee all photos