Google TV – What It Could Mean

I finally got my mind around Google TV and what it “means.”

And it is big.

First of all, it is real competition in the “Internet video on your television” space. With Apple TV admitting being nothing but a hobby and everyone else caring about their efforts with the same passion BP seems to care about plugging the leak, it’s easy to see why we’re getting nowhere in this space. I’ve written previously about the Roku box and Boxee’s plans but what really has happened in the last 6 months, year?

With Google taking this space seriously, we’re finally going to see some passion and growth past what we’re seeing right now. And, with their war chest, this nonsense with Hulu blocking Boxee type situations will be met with a legal war chest that can make things happen. Competition is a very good thing.

But, more importantly, we’ve got another issue at play that is even more vital.

Google in this space represents a true convergence box. This is the “old and new media playing together” dream we’ve had for years but have never seen delivered. I have in my basement plenty of boxes that put obscure Internet video on my screen and I have owned / seen / been briefed on / and have beta tested an equal amount of boxes that place nice with “old media” over the intertubes. The Xbox doesn’t do YouTube (let alone a decent Podcast option) and the Apple TV is as walled as a walled garden can get (even to the point of making it too weak to stream Flash well). When we talk about Tivo or traditional cable boxes, I just have to shudder. fILS and Twitter – silly – nothing else.

Boxee is the best hope in the underdog category (and I applaud Avner’s statements that they can work in a Google TV world) but even their approach to stuff puts a line between the two worlds. A new episode of Burn Notice goes right into my queue but the latest episode of The Totally Rad show does not. It’s just not “all coming together” the way it is supposed to … Yet. Roku is nice for what it does but the channels that aren’t there don’t appear to be coming.

At CES this year I got really nervous watching boxes from the “big names” designed (I believe purposely) to squash out the new media space. Sure, they were still lousy, but they were the only element seeing growth. And they might grow into something acceptable before we get our butts in gear.

Google TV can change this. The commercials speak of a world where the Web and Desperate Housewives can live in peaceful harmony and I’m betting my future that the box that let’s them is the box I want to get behind. Google has the war chest and moxie this space needs.

And they have my full support.

Do they have yours?

Oh yeah, their ownership of YouTube is key too :-).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Matt

    This is very good article….in the Uk Virgin Media are winning this war as they have the fiber network to do it. All they have to do is offer cheaper phone calls to get TV customers and there you have it.

    I would say it is not just the box but the connection as well. BT are trying…

    But what about Microsoft? The xbox is in lots of homes so they need to just do content deals.

    As you say Google as the might to do it. But some of the big fiber network owners have the keys!

  • paulcolligan

    Having the fiber is only part of it. If they just let the big guys hook up to their fiber, nothing good comes from it.

    Microsoft needs to do more than content deals – they need to produce a device that lets in all content easily.

  • David Cary

    Another hugely important step to empower individuals and small players who are prepared with qualify educational or entertainment content. Once it is all on the big box in the living room, what meaningful distinction remains between a YouTube channel and a satellite or cable channel?

  • Steve

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out! The whole TV, movie, netflix, whoever else thing is just such a jumbled mess right now. I know the industry will change in time, but what form will it take?

  • paulcolligan

    Great point.

  • paulcolligan

    Don't know if it will take Google's form – but I think they will help force it to take form.

  • bigskynau

    I was disappointed in Apple TV since I was one of the suckers that bought one, but I did mod it out so I run Boxee on it which makes it much more useful than what it was!

  • paulcolligan

    I bought an Apple TV as well – and also modded it to run Boxee. It isn't strong enough to do high quality streaming video so I eventually upgraded to a Mac Mini that runs Boxee for my media center at home.

  • standubin

    Definitely off subject, but since you mentioned:

    What possible motive does BP have NOT to plug the leak as fast as possible? Is it the desire to run up billions of dollars of restitution? Or the desire to lose millions of gallons of oil they could be harnessing and selling? Or is it the evil intention of those in charge at BP who want to cause unending devastation to our gulf shores? Maybe it's the desire to deny millions of British their dividends? The never-ending joy they get from being the world's whipping boy? No, it must be the wish to flirt with bankruptcy not knowing how much and how far all of this hardship and tragedy will go.

    Did BP screw up? Yes, big time? Were they negligent? Absolutely sounds like it. But I'd rather hook up with them and get as much done that turns things around than treat the entire group at BP as evil and incompetent. They royally screwed up. They're going to pay, possibly with their very existence. In the meantime, they got a ton of folks on board who want to fix things as fast as possible.

    Well, I did hear there's a solution to the oil that's in the gulf (and to the oil that's made its way to the shores):

    Microbes that actually eat up the oil and leave no toxic residue. I heard that this solution was presented to BP and not acted on, supposedly because BP didn't want to lose all of the oil in the gulf. If that is the case, then I withdraw everything I said above.

    This solution has already worked in Texas when a huge tanker poured out hundreds of thousands of gallons of oils. Apparently the Texas Land Office and Water Commission tried this out and it worked with phenomenal results.

    Solution presented here:

    Anyway, enough of my rant.

  • paulcolligan

    BP makes no money in cleaning up the spill as fast as possible and BP has nobody who gets a bonus for cleaning up the spill as fast as possible. Companies too big to fail these days never seem to have systems in place that encourage the doing of the right thing.

  • Standubin

    I'm not sure I read you correctly, Paul, but BP loses tons EVERY day the spill is not cleaned up. As an example: f they manage to get things fully resolved in 4 months versus 6 months, that's two month's worth of time, money, personnel that gets spent on the clean-up. Losing money / making money – they both hit the bottom line.

    I would think they're very motivated to get things cleaned up as quickly as they can. Whether they're up to this task without an enormous amount of outside help, we'll see on that.

    I agree with you 100% that there should be no companies too big to fail and BP may very well be one of them. The U.S. won't be bailing them out, that's for sure. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be so sure on that.

  • paulcolligan

    BP loses money every day but who in the BP organization loses money? Who gets fired for things not working. Who has any reason to make it happen faster? Nobody rewards internally doing the right thing.

    If this was priority number 1 at BP and jobs and bonuses were on the line, it would be plugged by now.

  • paulcolligan

    I guess, in short, lots of companies are losing money every day – but they have infrastructures where money loss “doesn't matter.” They either make more on the other end or wait for a bailout. Make it matter and things change.

    No you know why I'm in business for myself 😉

  • Standubin

    You make a very good point about “making it matter” — if there are no jobs (or bonuses) on the line, then where's the personal incentive? I may be too optimistic, but I'd like to think the vast majority (at BP or any large corporation) are decent folk who want to do the right thing, regardless of personal incentive. In this case, don't a huge number of these employees live in the Gulf area?

  • web development bangalore

    I really did not understand what is Google Tv , can any one explain it here. ?