Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt is set to unveil plans tonight at the Edinburgh Television Festival for a Google internet TV service that allows users to switch between the internet and the TV on their main screen with the click of a button.

The service will also mean that users can access existing catch-up services such as BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4OD, as well as a special high definition version of Youtube, through essentially a web browser that is within your TV.

Built on Google’s Android operating system, Google TV will also allow users to play Android apps on their screens, which could potentially create competition for the gaming consoles from the ever-expanding casual gaming market, which are already turning their PC platform games into successful apps.

Logitech and Sony have already launched set-top boxes and an internet TV that intergrates the Google TV technology in the US, but it is likely that we will see similar technology soon should tonight go well.

Google’s history until now has been to partner with hardware and service firms rather than enter into a market by themselves, so this could be a new strategic move on their part.