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Youtube gives first glimpse of GoogleTV

YouTube has given us a tantalising glimpse of what life might be like with Google TV.

Leanback, which is expected to become a major component of the world-conquering search engine's inexorable march into our living rooms, is a stripped-down interface which allows users to play and browse videos using just a few keys on a standard keyboard.

Using the left and right arrow keys you can select from a simple animated bar of popular videos which at the moment are as random a bag as you will ever find. A pop-up balloon shows shows the name of the clip and the uploader, the duration and the number of times it has been played.

Hitting the down arrow key brings up a further interface layer which contains categories of videos such as 'Comedy', 'Motoring' and 'Teenagers losing a bollock in an horrific free-running accident'. Hitting return in any of these categories will bring up a new strip of clips at the bottom of the screen.

Hitting the up key will allow you to search for your favourite clips. We suggest you try typing in 'Beardyman'. The man is an absolute genius.

It all looks very slick, Google having seemingly borrowed a few ideas from Apple's Front Row system which manages to navigate through myriad choices with a remote with just four or five buttons.

Much of the technology appears to be based on Flash so don't expect to see it on your iDevice any time soon, but if you have a computer hooked up to your big telly and you want a sneak peak at the future of broadcasting, head over to YouTube's Leanback preview and give it a test run.