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  #1  
Old 10-04-2010, 06:30 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Google TV Shaping Up to be the Real Deal?

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://lifehacker.com/5655154/' target='_blank'>http://lifehacker.com/5655154/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"If it works as smooth as it looks in this preview video, Google TV could provide the kind of seamless web-on-TV experience many have been looking for. Dedicated apps, a Chrome browser, easy picture and music viewing, and more are shown off. Google TV was announced in May, but the only evidence of how it could work was provided in a simple stage demonstration, and a cartoon-styled video. It seemed like a really web-savvy DVR, perhaps, or maybe a set-top box that had a little more Google juice."</em></p><p><object width="600" height="360" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZDeX_oIfEeQ&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;ap=&fmt=18" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZDeX_oIfEeQ&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;ap=&fmt=18" /></object></p><p>I admit I was more than a little sceptical about Google TV when it was first announced - after all, this is the same company that had Gmail in beta for five years - and working with TV manufacturers is no small mountain to climb. I remain a little dubious about whether or not Google can accomplish this task, but they have the money and resources to potentially make in-roads where the likes of Microsoft have failed. This demo looks pretty slick, but there's a rather large chasm between a pretty software demo and real, working software on a TV that you can purchase at Best Buy made by a big name-brand OEM. <a href="http://www.google.com/tv/index.html" target="_blank">This site is also worth a look</a>.</p>
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2010, 06:51 PM
gdoerr56
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Google has the best concept so far and will likely have the most open interface allowing extensibility. Embed their search, and you've got a winner.

That being said, the big issue still comes down to content. If google doesn't have the content people want, it's just another set-top box like your Xbox, PS3, Popcorn Hour or Sage.

IF Google can figure out how to work with the content owners, they can change the game entirely. This is a big IF and they'll have some powerful industry players working against them (Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and the networks).

I also wonder if we're trading one evil empire for another...
 
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:02 PM
ptyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdoerr56 View Post
IF Google can figure out how to work with the content owners, they can change the game entirely. This is a big IF and they'll have some powerful industry players working against them (Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and the networks).
Actually, this is where I think the Google model is brilliant. They aren't cutting out the cable companies and networks at all. The Google TV box hooks up to your cable box (via coax, component, or HDMI along with an IR blaster) and essentially passes through your cable content. A GTV search returns whatever streaming results it finds mixed in with live TV results. So it ENHANCES traditional TV in much the same way as the DVR did back in the late 90's (and not altogether different than TiVO).

If I'm Comcast, I'm bending over backwards to promote this concept rather than allow Roku, Apple, Boxy, Amazon, Netflix, etc. to make my content irrelevant. See for example Dish Network, who are shipping these at a discount to their customers and spending the money to integrate them closely into their DVR's so that they can bring their interface into the 21st century.

The other big thing going for GTV is the app model (SDK + marketplace). This will be HUGE, and they are beating Apple to the punch this time. Oh yeah, AND they support Flash video in their web browser.

My one wish for GTV is that they would support DVR functionality if you provide an external drive (or allow the content to be streamed to a NAS or other shared network drive). Of course, this would cause me to go nuts and buy one for every room in my house, so perhaps it is good they don't appear to...yet.
 
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:12 PM
ptyork
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And even cooler, the Logitech version integrates a Harmony remote INTO the box--with multiple IR blasters to control your multiple AV devices--and gives you an iPhone/Android remote control app. Pretty slick.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/1005/7099

I wonder if GTV will integrate place shifting, as well???
 
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2010, 10:47 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptyork View Post
Actually, this is where I think the Google model is brilliant. They aren't cutting out the cable companies and networks at all. The Google TV box hooks up to your cable box (via coax, component, or HDMI along with an IR blaster) and essentially passes through your cable content.
I don't know...there's never been an add-on box that has been successful in this market. It's too geeky for the average person to grasp...
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:39 PM
ptyork
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Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I don't know...there's never been an add-on box that has been successful in this market. It's too geeky for the average person to grasp...
Now that's a silly statement, Jason. Again I point to TiVO. Before that, VCR's. How about DVD players? Atari 2600? NES? All add-on boxes. As with all technology-based innovations, early adopters were geeks (kind of by definition). But they were done "right" (eventually), had utility that non-geeks desired, were adopted by the masses, and became "necessary" add-ons. Done right, add-on boxes can be transformational.

Plus, GTV is a platform. I think we'll see more and more innovation built around this core technology. Should be fun to see how and where this shows up.
 
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:43 PM
ptyork
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Okay, I see you said "this market" by which I assume you mean internet-on-TV boxes. That I will agree with. So not "silly," but I do stand by my other statements. Get the metaphor right and make it compelling, and it will be successful. This may not be "it," but it is the closest to "right" that I've seen so far.
 
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:53 PM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by ptyork View Post
Now that's a silly statement, Jason. Again I point to TiVO. Before that, VCR's. How about DVD players? Atari 2600? NES? All add-on boxes.
Yeah, how great is Tivo doing exactly? Unless something has changed, I think they're still struggling. The reason? Lack of buy-in from the cable companies - they're the gateway to all this. Without their cooperation, and blessing, these add-on boxes don't amount to much of anything without the content. Tivo launched in Canada a year or two ago, and I don't know anyone that has one. Why? No HD. Why not? No friggin' cable card support in Canada! I can't use Windows Media Center with HD anything without cable card support. I'm literally locked into the idiotic PVRs from my cable company because that's the way they want it.

Look, you can have the most amazing box in the world, but without great content, it will fail. I'm buying a Boxee Box because I can get my own content (photos, videos, DVDs, music, etc.), but without HD TV, it can't truly replace anything yet, just supplement it. The same goes for Google TV; unless they can find a way to get the cable companies on board, a Google TV box isn't going to have any legs. All the examples you raise as being successful implementations of add-on boxes were successful precisely because they had great ecosystems of content - DVDs, console games, etc. The VCR would be strangled at birth in our current world because of the way HD signals are locked down by the cable companies - it flourished in a much more permissive analog era.

I don't disagree that Google TV may in fact end up being a great solution, but for now, I'm pretty dubious because of the failed products that I've seen come before it.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2010, 02:10 AM
ptyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Yeah, how great is Tivo doing exactly? Unless something has changed, I think they're still struggling. The reason? Lack of buy-in from the cable companies - they're the gateway to all this.
Canada saw a different progression with TiVo than did the states. TiVo basically brought the concept of the DVR out of geekdom and into the mainstream. It remains a verb, which by most any definition means that it WAS successful. Cable companies and Sat TV providers originally bought in to the concept...again because it complemented their services instead of replacing it. But predictably the cable co's got greedy and pushed TiVo out, not by rejecting the concept, but by creating competing products, implementing scrambling technologies that all but cut any competition out of the market, and then reaping all of the revenue once going to TiVo.

BUT, it doesn't change the fact that TiVo created a market for a whole new add-on box and that it WAS successful before getting manhandled. The fact that they are even still around is a testament to how good of a concept they had.

Quote:
Why not? No friggin' cable card support in Canada!
I feel your pain here, bro. Canada is definitely behind in terms of pro-consumer, pro-competition legislation, at least in this case. Odd since they are so liberal in so many other ways.

Quote:
The same goes for Google TV; unless they can find a way to get the cable companies on board, a Google TV box isn't going to have any legs....The VCR would be strangled at birth in our current world because of the way HD signals are locked down by the cable companies - it flourished in a much more permissive analog era.
Well, this is only partially true. Only HDMI with HDCP has protection. Coax (theoretically) and component (in practice) output HD and cannot be "protected," as does HDMI without HDCP. Until cable co's start requiring HDCP in order to hook up their cable boxes (which will be a LONG way off), then so long as you FIRST pass through the cable box, you can record an HD signal. Yes, the old VCR with its internal tuner would be foiled by encrypted QAM broadcasts. But Google TV takes the HD output of cable box (post-decryption), digitally re-encodes it in real-time, and integrates it into a unified, internet enhanced experience. No cable co cooperation required. No it isn't one box and yes it IS a bit kludgy with the IR repeaters and all, but that isn't new. We've dealt with that since the days of VCR's and surround sound receivers. What IS new is finally you have a single remote and a single interface that integrates Boxy-world with Rogers-world (and in the case of Logitech box, even the Denon-world), even if you do need two+ physical boxes to get it.

To me, this is transformational.
 
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2010, 02:52 AM
Fritzly
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What I find ironic...... and sad is tha MS was the first one with Media Center but unfortunately, as often happens with MS , a brilliant concept was castrated by the management: first they sold it only with new. "Dedicated", boxes. Plus of course all the artificial limitations like no digital TV cards, limited number of them etc. etc.

They did so to please Cabe companies and Studios and the results was the killing of a great idea.

I think GTV will sell well in Europe: there IPTV is much more advanced than on this side of the Ocean and SKY is so much better than Comcast......... and its epigons.

Btw how come that MS never launched an app to control MediaCenter from your MS phone? Many, many years ago WM shipped with an app to control a domotized house; it was standard on all the so called Pocket Pcs..... of course is gone......

Last edited by Fritzly; 10-05-2010 at 03:46 PM..
 
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