Google TV owners rejoice: a new update means you'll be able to buy and rent movies, music and TV shows from Google Play and watch them on your Google TV device. Yes, it's a little hard to believe that Google TV couldn't already do that, when other Android devices without "TV" in their names have had access for over three months. Still, when we tried the new feature at Google HQ last week, we found it to be a fairly seamless process.
You'll be able to search for multimedia in Google Play directly and buy or rent with stored credit cards, but you can also use the special TV & Movies app that comes with Google TV as well. That app lets you search for a movie or TV show across all available content sources — cable, satellite, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon, etc. — and now Google Play is an option too. We noticed that a number of items were available from both Amazon Instant Video and Google Play for the same price, in fact, so you may have to choose based on which company's software ecosystem you prefer. You can also buy content on an Android tablet, smartphone, or via the web and have it waiting for you on a Google TV device, though you can't yet begin a show on one device and resume it on another as Google originally intended. That's still on the roadmap.
Google tells us the Google Play update starts rolling out tonight and should continue spreading over the next few weeks, and will also include subscription billing and smart app updates, to bring the TV-based Android market the tiniest step closer to parity with its tablet- and phone-based cousins.