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Google Media Television

Google Giving Google TV Another Shot 199

MrSeb writes with a piece on Google's renewed push for Google TV adoption. From the article: "In spite of a mediocre launch caused by an overpriced device and low consumer adoption, Mountain View is attempting to breathe life into Google TV in the way of a major marketing push at CES 2012. By announcing partnerships with companies like Marvell and LG, and an effort to cut costs by switching to ARM architecture, Google is hoping to finally achieve the mass adoption it has been hoping for with the service. Is this a case of too little, too late?"
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Google Giving Google TV Another Shot

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  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:33AM (#38649912) Journal

    Set top boxes (or pucks, as they're becoming) are still an open field. Nobody has managed to create one without screwing some portion of the consumer market, or getting screwed by content providers, or both.

    I've had a Roku box and an AppleTV, along with a not-quite-the-same Popcorn Hour and a HTPC. What I've decided is that these things, when combined with a TV, are a lot like tablets. They're great for consumption, but the key is having applications which cater to various niche markets. To me, that means two things. You have to offer a framework for the content providers to make money, and you need to give application developers the chance to expand the usefulness and content options available.

    I gave up on the old Popcorn Hour a long time ago. The HTPC is nice, but I don't have the time to "manage" they system regularly and keep up with patches and bugfixes in add-ons. It works as a media player with the real remote control. I've tried the online streaming and it works, but the content is woefully limited. The Roku had some major launch issues with their v2, and I gave up after a month of poor streaming and difficult-to-manage navigation. The AppleTV is the easiest to use, but is a tough sell with their pay-for-everything-all-over-again model. I've jailbroken the ATV2 and use PLEX to stream my library for now. It's stable enough that the family is using it, and knows to just let it reboot when the application crashes (which it does frequently, as it's not a supported client).

    That's a very longwinded way of getting to applications. The iFoo and Android platforms are successful because they offer a huge array of content and content sources, all supported by their own separate dev teams. I don't have to wait for Google or Apple to create a Hulu+ client - the Hulu guys will do that. If it sucks, I won't buy their service. Same for Netflix, or Pandora, or any other service.

    I expect that if, and I say if, Apple opens the doors to applications on the ATV, the market doors will close very, very quickly on everyone else. They're the only box that has the silky-smooth, easy to use interface that makes it easy for a non-techie to use. Even when things go wrong, it like a weeble - the screen blinks black, and two seconds later you're back at the home menu, like nothing every happened. That's comforting to the average Joe or Jane, and it's easy to get the family to understand (i.e. - a reset requires zero interaction and nearly zero time). If it weren't for the (nearly) iTunes-only content model, it would be an absolute winner.

    So yes, there's an opportunity here - but it does require not fucking it up. And tech companies have proven that, on the whole, that's the one thing they're really good at. Your move, Google.

  • by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:45AM (#38650000)
    Windows Media Center had many great feature, even today it still provides feature that no other device has, like the ability to use as a DVR, and Digitial Tuner capabilities. I think with Windows 8 Media Center, it will be the killer Media Center that will have it all and everyone will want to adopt to. Think of all the features it will have - New easy to use interface with voice and touchscreen capability, maybe even be able to use the Kinect. Digital TV Tuner with PVR functionality and a nice friendly Guide. Netflix, Hulu, and many more online content providers intergrated. App Store, apps designed just for your TV. BlueRay support, if not you can easily install PowerDVD or Total Media Theatre which intergrates very nicely. There is nothing Windows 8 Media Center won't be able to do.
  • I'm rooting for them (Score:4, Informative)

    by vawwyakr ( 1992390 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @10:30AM (#38650460)
    Unless they change a lot and add a lot of content I see no use for me in any of these set top boxes/built in TV interfaces. I have a media center PC and it does everything they do and then also a whole lot more. None of them can just go to and pull up last night's show for free. If they did then either they'd need some sort of agreement with the broadcaster which would probably be too expensive or they'd need a fully function web browser which would eliminate their dumbed down interface. I see no reason I should pay someone to give me less than what I could easily get on my own.
  • by IwantToKeepAnon ( 411424 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @10:53AM (#38650772) Homepage

    This same radical streaming technology can be used to watch many other timely TV shows as well, like the Oscars or Monday Night Football.

    Nope, MNF is not available via this radical streaming technology. It is on ESPN which is cable / satellite only. :((

  • If Apple builds an actual, big-screen TV, it'll probably be $3,000+. Their current 27" monitor is $1,000.

    This will not compete with the Google TV box, or TV's with Google TV built-in. It's for a different group of people.

    Is the fact that their 27" monitor is $1000 meant to be some sort of "proof" of overpricing?

    It's a 2560 x 1440 IPS 27" panel with LED backlight - those are expensive. Dell sells a similar one... and it's also almost $1000 (you can get discounts on it I believe - in fact, I just looked on Dell's site, they've marked it down from $999 with a "$150 instant saving" whatever that is [why not just lower the price?]).

    If you think Apple's 27" panel is way overpriced, you clearly haven't looked at the specs.

  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:10PM (#38652618)

    As An Owner Of A Sony Google TV it worked out surprisingly well. Especially after the last major update which added the interface to Android Marketplace.

    I had initially got the thing because I needed a "medium" sized HDTV and the current specials made it a reasonable buy. I've seen "Internet on TV" so my expectations where really low. I have several things that play Netflix. I have several things that do DLNA. I have plenty of devices that have web browsers in them (although very few entertainment/living room devices do that). This TV has all of them it. What ended up happening is that it combined some of the disaparate components into the TV itself. Its about as close to a HTPC as anything consumer electronic thing I have without actually being a HTPC. But it still has gaps. I would claim that my Sony Google TV would be a little weird as a family room HDTV but its a great bedroom or office TV mostly because you don't need a bunch of little boxes to go with it.

    After being happy with my Google TV, I see the next step as a full blown "Smart TV" like "Smart Phones" that revolutionized cell phones. The software components are all there but it needs better and tighter integration. Especially with a home internet connection, your TV should be leveraging the search and information it has to some intelegent things out of the box.

    Things to improve with Google TV:
    - Boxee style "Show Me Later". There is a way with Boxee to put a link on your browser to "tag" things you find on the Internet to watch on your box later. What I do with Google TV is remember where it is and browse to it.
    - Subtitle support. If a video stream has subtitle text encoded it should display it. Mutliple devices do it multiple ways where this seems to be something that could be better supported in the display instead of the player.
    - Agressively scrape information but depricate non-display friendly information. I don't think reading email on TV is a good idea but a Smart TV should recognize emails from your mother and father from their European vacation with pictures and a Youtube video where those videos and pictures are great to view on a TV.
    - Google has a nice calendar feature, lets start using it. I'm not suggesting that one should be mixing their professional meetings and appointment data with when "Survivor" is on but a Smart TV should to track both events. The goal here is to get the TV and PVR and other devices to recognize the same calendar and do some smart things with the information. Recognizing you have favorite programs or a video streams but have a conflicting appointment should make the devices save or promote features.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire