When Google unveiled Google TV at Google I/O in May, the company said it would be out for the holidays. CEO Eric Schmidt is now saying more specifically, this autumn, according to Reuters. It's unclear whether this is ahead of the originally planned schedule or if it was always intended to be Autumn (as opposed to Winter), but Apple's release of Apple TV may provide a little motivation to get Google TV on the market as soon as possible.
Apple TV and Google TV will compete with one another, but they offer different functionalities. Apple brings web content to your TV, but Google’s aim is to let you search across your existing TV service provider and the web in one "seamless" experience. There is more to both than that, but that is the main difference. More about Apple TV here and more about Google TV here.
Don't expect Google to create its own content. Schmidt reportedly told Reuters, "We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production."
Creating content has never really been Google's style anyway. Google TV should do for finding TV shows what Google the search engine has done for finding web results, or what Google News has done for finding news articles.
Both Apple TV and Google TV should be able to find their audiences. Apple's $99 price tag may go a long way into getting it into more living rooms, while Google's integration with Dish Network will likely appeal to customers of that service.
Either way, one thing is clear: TV watchers are going to get more and more choices for connected TV, and this space is getting more and more interesting by the day.