August 22, 2010

Will Google TV Fulfill its Promise? First Live Look

When Google announced Google TV, I called it "a device/spec that obliterates the line between 'TV' and 'computer.' Suddenly it’s going to be a lot easier to get content from around the web onto your TV." At the time, however, I was only able to find the official Google launch video and a few blurry screen grabs to demonstrate the forthcoming device. Thanks to StuffWeLike, however, we now have a video of the device in action -- and while the blurriness is still a problem and the camera work is awful, there are some interesting hints at potential game-changers contained in the clip:

One of the best examples of Google TV's planned integration of cable TV and web can be seen in their "bookmarks" tab, which includes cable TV channels and web sites side-by-side:

Yes, that's the same cable TV channel (HBO) you normally tune into by going to channel six-fifty-whatever on your cable box, right next to same web site (Digg), to which you normally have to point your computer's web browser. Google TV also lists podcasts -- like, say shows that any two jackasses can get into iTunes -- right below shows recorded onto your DVR via multibillion dollar transnational conglomerates:

And, of course, the selected-by-default "All Content" tab doesn't differentiate between the two at all. The path to the living room can be virtually the same for independent content creators as it is for Global OmniCorp.

Of course, there are going to be a lot of obstacles to Google pulling this off. Reports are circulating that TV networks are thinking about blocking the device from accessing their online content. I imagine there will also be a ton of hardware integration issues, with hundreds of different set-top boxes and cable providers to interface with. And while YouTube is launching new features left and right -- e.g., their new Charts page -- it seems they haven't implemented YouTube Leanback yet on the device. However, you can preview Leanback -- which is designed for living room, remote-based viewing -- right now.

So what do you think? Am I overstating the potential of Google TV, or are you also excited about the possibilities?

[via NewTeeVee]

For more on Google TV, check out my article in the current issue of Filmmaker Magazine, on a newsstand near you!

Your Comment


I don't know. I have to say I'm a little underwhelmed by this video. I mean, what's on here is exactly what I'd expect to find on here.... but it feels like surfing the web on my TV, or navigating through a PS3 menu. Of course, this is only a six-minute clip, but somehow I was expecting something more game changing in the UI. I actually think the Apple TV vs. Google TV competition might be more of a horse race than I previously thought.

August 22, 2010 at 12:51PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Of course, that depends on Apple taking iTV seriously -- and given they've gone to the trouble of renaming it, something tells me it'll be much more than just a "hobby" for them soon.

August 22, 2010 at 11:34PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

Yup. Not impressed by the demo but I still like the idea.

August 22, 2010 at 3:44PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Great article Koo. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your Google TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

August 19, 2014 at 2:27PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM