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Search engine giant Google has announced the launch of its eagerly-awaited IPTV service.

The US technology giant is to launch its broadband-enabled television in the UK in July, in a bid to claim a share of the growing IPTV market.

US households have been able to use the Google TV service for two years, and British consumers will have the opportunity to join them from next month.

Viewers wishing to tune in to Google TV will be required to purchase a Sony set-top box, allowing them to view content via their existing broadband connection.

"In the UK you'll be able to pop live TV into the background while you read up on the Guardian's website with Chrome, catch up on the latest episode of EastEnders on the BBC iPlayer, view Lauren Luke's latest make-up tips on YouTube, and choose from the hundreds of apps optimised for TV in Google Play," the firm stated.

The launch of Google TV has been delayed in the UK for some months, with an early-2012 launch originally mooted.

But the service could now launch ahead of the rival YouView IPTV service, which is also set to go live during the third quarter of 2012.

A launch date is yet to be announced for the joint venture - formerly known as Project Canvas - which involves the likes of BT, TalkTalk, the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Five and Arqiva.

With consumers also able take advantage of Apple TV, they will soon have a range of dedicated IPTV services to choose from in the UK.

Migrating to IPTV may encourage households to switch broadband deals in search of the faster download speeds, higher usage allowances and increased bandwidth needed to maximise service quality.

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