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10/28/2011
02:10 PM
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Google TV Tries Again, Adds Android App Support

Google TV's new software is ready and will soon be available for Logitech and Sony hardware.

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Google is ready to release a software update for its partners' Google TV hardware. The update focuses on interface simplification, improved content discovery, YouTube integration, and Android app support.

Mario Queiroz, VP of product management, and Vincent Dureau, director of engineering, said in a blog post that Google expects to deliver the software update to Sony Internet TVs next week and Logitech Revue devices shortly after that.

The new customizable home screen is easier to understand and organize than its previous incarnation. Google has added an Android app called "TV & Movies" to help people find something to watch when they don't know what to search for--the ability to run Android apps on Google TV hardware is the product's most significant feature. YouTube is now more tightly tied to Google TV, such that virtually any content topic keyword can be turned into its own channel.

Google's pitch for the "new Google TV" no longer hints at a revolution. It used to be Google TV aimed to "open up the living room." But "open" in Hollywood means opening the company wallet. Hence the Web content blockade initiated late last year by ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and Viacom to keep their online shows from being viewed through Google TV's Web browser: The studios feared that Google TV would convert the TV audience to a Web audience, reducing their advertising and content deals with cable and broadcast channels.

At the Game Developers Conference in March, Google engineer Andres Ferrate in a presentation to potential Google TV developers acknowledged that the company's messaging about Google TV had missed the mark. It was clear then that Google wanted to distance itself from the misapprehension that Google TV aspired to be a cable killer. Google TV still represents the marriage of TV and the Internet, but now the newlyweds are sleeping chastely in separate bedrooms.

[ Find out what Google said about Google TV to developers in March. Read GDC: Reframing Google TV. ]

Thus we have Google's new messaging: "Plays nice with the stuff you already have." Move along, there's no revolution to see here.

The Mr. Nice Guy approach may be fight-the-power fatigue, the result of blow-back from years of copyright lawsuits, Google's Street View privacy problems, and a battle with Microsoft that has spiraled into a serious antitrust problem. Or it may just be a pragmatic approach to dealing with an industry where costly content can't just be indexed, aggregated, and organized in the way that commodified text has been. But either way, Google is hoping that Google TV will receive a better reception than the rough cut that arrived last year.

If Google TV flops the second time around, it becomes more likely that Apple will conquer the living room without opposition. Apple is said to be working on a television, a project that could turn its Apple TV "hobby" into a meaningful revenue stream.

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JameKatt
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JameKatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/31/2011 | 5:20:28 AM
re: Google TV Tries Again, Adds Android App Support
Google TV is bound to FAIL. Google is trying to go against the massive movie, cable and TV industry by creating new channels via the internet and taking away advertisement dollars away from them. It's first move is to create a $100 million fund for new content.

Going against content owners such as movie studios and the TV industry means hardly anyone of note is going to cooperate with Google.

$100 million is a DROP IN THE BUCKET to the movie and TV industry. It is enough to make one movie. It is enough to pay off one actor - Charlie Sheen. It isn't enough to pay for full-time multi-channel content. Google is dreaming.

Google is up against the cable TV companies whose customers pay up to $200+ a month for TV content. Google makes pennies a month for ads to its customers. Google doesn't have enough money to create an alternative to cable TV. Google is dreaming.

If Google is SERIOUS about creating alternatives to cable TV, it has to pay TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EACH YEAR. Clearly, it doesn't have the stomach for this. Clearly, it doesn't have the deep pockets for this. Clearly Google TV is going down as another beta product from Google.

Google's idea is to have content providers give away their content for free while Google rides on their coats to make money selling ads. This isn't going to work.
kritik1
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kritik1,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2011 | 5:19:49 PM
re: Google TV Tries Again, Adds Android App Support
One of the best ways to promote Google TV is to throw in freebies to attract attention. Free video games is one example. Need to review what Android can do for Google TV. And the most important factor to consider is: you tube needs overhaul; need more than just short versions of all categories of videos. Can the current price structure and feature of set top box used with google tv compete with the price and features of Roku box?
kritik1
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kritik1,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2011 | 4:37:03 PM
re: Google TV Tries Again, Adds Android App Support
Google has not given up on the development of 'Google TV' and so when there is more content available the other reluctant partners will jump-in on the band wagon. Its just a matter of time.
captbilly
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captbilly,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2011 | 4:33:31 PM
re: Google TV Tries Again, Adds Android App Support
That's right, if Apple does TV it will be a revolution, well maybe for a year or two. Then people will realize that they don't fit into Apple's, one size fits all, approach. And don't forget that Apple has made it abundantly clear that they are above all interested in finding as much profit as possible. I owned all the Ipods and Iphones. I was convinced that my Iphone was the best phone there was, but last summer I bought a top end Android phone and realized that Google definitely had a better mousetrap (mousetraps).

Google TV was surely a not ready for prime time release, but I have used it for the past year to watch TV and movies. The Sony Android phone remote app was great, and the Google TV's ability to control every piece of AV equipment I have (2 receiver, fiber optic tv, bluray player, PS 3 MP3 / android phone input, etc.) was superior than even my $500 universal remote. But the inability to run Android apps was a serious fault that needed to be rectified.
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