There's a slick new Google TV site live today, and it does an excellent job of highlighting what's new and different about gTV when compared to other connected set-top boxes. The fact that Google TV needs a guided tour, however, is indicative of the kind of uphill battle Google is faced with when trying to turn the so-called "idiot box" into something decidedly more intelligent. Here's their new video spotlighting apps on TV:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZDeX_oIfEeQ
This begs the larger question, however, which is: do you want your TV to stay as it is, or do you want it to become basically another computer in the home?
I can only assume that most people will respond with the second option, but I'm curious what people think about it. Because in one corner you have the new Apple TV, which I see as Apple basically throwing in the towel when it comes to making anything more advanced than a streaming box (though the video version of AirPlay, still "coming soon," is a sort of a stealth killer app). And in the other corner you have Google TV, which is going whole hog with apps, cable box integration, and a full web browser.
In fact, the new Google TV site goes out of its way to differentiate itself from Apple TV; the site itself runs on Flash, which is famously unavailable on any iOS device. On the developer's page the tagline reads, "The last screen has been liberated. Anyone can develop content for Google TV's open platform through made-for-TV websites, and, starting in 2011, Google TV apps." And because Google TV will have a full web broswer, there's a whole page live for how to optimize sites (and video) for gTV. Google certainly seems excited:
Regardless, I can't help but think it's going to be a challenge to pull off exactly what others have failed at (Microsoft with WebTV, and to a certain extent, Apple with Apple TV). While I'm still excited about the possibilities, I'm curious to know what others think about it. So please take the poll above and let me know any thoughts you have on Google TV.