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