The Future of Television Pt 3. Google TV is not a Computer

I have been using Google TV lately, so I was interested when I saw this commentary about Google TV. It really got me thinking.

When I first heard people talk about Google TV, they all talked like Google was just going to crush the television industry and the movie companies. People thought they would be able to get all the same services they get on their computer on Google TV. For years people have been able to hook computers up in their living room, but it has not been a success. The idea is that a computer has a lean forward interface and people want lean back interfaces in their living room. Everyone thought Google would be the answer to this problem.

It turns out they were wrong. While many content companies are willing to offer content to people on the internet for their computers, but they are going to block that content for Google TV. The content providers think the value of a program is different if you are watching it on a computer compared to a TV.

I know Google TV is designed to hook up to your DVR or set top box. This way you can use the Google TV interface to get content from both the internet and your pay TV service. I am not sure this is really want people want. It is just one of those clunky things that make things worse, not better.

I think that the first generation of Google TV will not conquer the world. It needs a better interface, better content, and some sort of app store. I think Google TV is a start, but it needs a lot of work. What they having going for that Boxee and Apple TV are not much better. Roku might be leading the pack, but the lead is not very large.

For right now I see it hard for any of the providers of these boxes to make something that is really compelling for the customers and the content providers. The numbers just don't work right now. The truth is that you need to make the content providers happy first and the costumers happy second.

I am not sure Google, customers, and content providers see google TV as the same thing.


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