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Google Giving Google TV Another Shot

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-dream-sponsored-by-google dept.

Google 199

MrSeb writes with a piece on Google's renewed push for Google TV adoption. From the article: "In spite of a mediocre launch caused by an overpriced device and low consumer adoption, Mountain View is attempting to breathe life into Google TV in the way of a major marketing push at CES 2012. By announcing partnerships with companies like Marvell and LG, and an effort to cut costs by switching to ARM architecture, Google is hoping to finally achieve the mass adoption it has been hoping for with the service. Is this a case of too little, too late?"

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199 comments

Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649720)

Just to make sure... TV is dead, stream me my entertainment on-demand or don't bother making it.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649798)

Streaming on demand? Wow. Um, what exactly did you think this thing did, anyway?

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649850)

It doesn't have any "watch it while it happens" features, like showing you the SuperBowl in real time?

See, with a name like "TV", I assume that's the major feature. Of course, I own a WDTV, and that's exactly what it doesn't do, but expectations from a name like Google are different than expectations from a name like Western Digital.

But, with all the gadget distraction in my life, and a PC, PS3, and WDTV already hooked up to my 42" "dumb TV," I can't really be bothered to learn what yet another "TV" device does, and I sure as hell wouldn't have gotten my first "First Post" ever if I took time to read an article.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650032)

You do know there area large number of people that really dont care at all about live events or sports in general. Honestly, if it was not for the parties I was invited to and the open bar, I could not care less about the superbowl.

For two reasons. 1, the NFL are nothing but a bunch of scumbags. the claim yearly they lose a lot of money from people STEALING the superbowl by inviting friends over and having a party. Yes, having more than 10 friends over is ILLEGAL as far as the NFL is concerned.

2, Honestly all NFL atheletes are a joke compared to College football players. Big fat lazy overpaid idiots. I have no interest in watching a bunch of rich panzies play a game. I would rather watch REAL atheletes at college level.

A lot of people feel this way and more and more join the ranks each year.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650352)

For two reasons. 1, the NFL are nothing but a bunch of scumbags. the claim yearly they lose a lot of money from people STEALING the superbowl by inviting friends over and having a party. Yes, having more than 10 friends over is ILLEGAL as far as the NFL is concerned.

Which is a bit of reasoning I've never gotten ... if 2 people watch the Superbowl in 5 different houses, or 10 people watch the Superbowl in the same house ... the NFL makes the exact same amount of additional money ... zero. Because I've already paid my cable bill, and it doesn't cost me any more to watch the Superbowl.

The NFL can think anything they want, but I've not signed a contract with them, and as long as my cable service delivers the Superbowl to me in my living room without me having to pay extra, or register with the central authority ... well, they have no control over it, and no say in the matter.

Hell, I suspect the game is broadcast over-the-air in a lot of places ... are they going to claim to be losing money to that?

What exactly is the revenue stream the NFL claims I might be stealing from? Because they sure as hell don't make any from me watching it now.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651024)

Advertising is priced based on the expected number of viewers. Numbers are connected via the Nielsen boxes or the cable companies collecting data from their cable boxes. Either way, there must be an assumption on the number of people watching that display. So 2 people watching 5 TVs (connected to separate input streams) will look like at least 5 viewers, whereas 10 people watching 1 TV may only look like one viewer.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (0)

phik (2368654) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651236)

agreed
College football > NFL

although the BCS Championship last night was pretty boring, I much preferred Stanford vs. Oklahoma State

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1, Insightful)

Cogneato (600584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650596)

There is streaming technology for the Super Bowl: an antenna. It's in HD and looks better than over-compressed cable. This same radical streaming technology can be used to watch many other timely TV shows as well, like the Oscars or Monday Night Football.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (4, Informative)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650772)

This same radical streaming technology can be used to watch many other timely TV shows as well, like the Oscars or Monday Night Football.

Nope, MNF is not available via this radical streaming technology. It is on ESPN which is cable / satellite only. :((

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (2)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650934)

The GoogleTV can do on demand streaming, purchasing and renting videos to stream, AND it integrates with your TV device (cable, satellite, set top box) so that you can watch live TV from those devices with GoogleTV.

Also, if it's available to stream on the internet, you can view it on GoogleTV.
Source: I own a GoogleTV.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651516)

Unfortunately you are wrong about real time. Your PS3 alone can stream live sports in MLB.tv. If you had XBOX then ESPN would stream live sports. Live streaming over an internet connection is alive and well and very common with set top boxes even those gaming consoles that exist in millions of homes.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649888)

>Just to make sure... TV is dead, stream me my entertainment on-demand or don't bother making it.

+1

If it streams call it "GoogleStream" and not "GoogleTV".

If it is "GoogleGood" don't call it "GoogleShit".

Simple.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649916)

Why is it that streaming and TV are two mutually exclusive things? Why isn't streaming just the next evolution of TV? Is it not TV if you record a program to watch it later? Is it not TV if it's broadcast on a time-shifted channel? Is it not TV if it's a PPV showing with multiple start times?

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649966)

Why is it that streaming and TV are two mutually exclusive things? Why isn't streaming just the next evolution of TV? Is it not TV if you record a program to watch it later? Is it not TV if it's broadcast on a time-shifted channel? Is it not TV if it's a PPV showing with multiple start times?

Why? Money, that's why.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650014)

That doesn't really make sense. Maybe I'm just confused at how Americans view it because in the UK, we've got pretty decent on demand facilities that don't cost any extra.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650424)

yes, but the on demand services are primarily internet based. These 'smart TVs' will allow you to watch those services as easily as you currently watch TV broadcasts.

Add some general internet surfing, apps, streaming media, and PVR capabilities and I think they've finally got there.

The fact that the hardware manufacturers are selling these means it might work out, before you had to be really interested in buying a new device to sit under your TV, and for 99% of the population, they just didn't care. Now they get it for 'free' and I imagine they will start using it.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650038)

Technically ATSC over the air TV is streaming. it's a MPEG2 transport stream.

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650392)

Because with TV you can only blacklist what you do not want to watch.

With streaming you can have a whitelist of the things you want to watch.

TV is also limited by the program schedule which again is limited by time.

TV != Streaming

Re:Give it two to the chest and one to the head... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651334)

> Because with TV you can only blacklist what you do not want to watch.

This hasn't been true for a long time.

Perhaps you should stop living in the 80s.

If you can't whitelist the stuff you want to pull out of the local cable stream, you need to update your tech to something current before trying to declare TV and moving on to the "next thing".

The beauty of the 90s technology is that you can just connect it to the content services that already exist. Your appliance does not need "special content deals" in order to function.

You don't have the "GoogleTV" problem.

television larger part of waking time than ever (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651352)

If you define "tv" as screen time among all the gadgets we use in our life and work. Some people spend 80% of their conscious time staring at a screen of some kind from a cell to desktop to television. Younger people put their boomer elders to shame in this respect.

The real challenge... (5, Insightful)

jimbouse (2425428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649728)

I think Google's real challenge is with the content owners. If it would 'just work', then I believe the product would sell.

Re:The real challenge... (5, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649790)

Bingo. Google needs content, and a lot more than they have now. YouTube rentals only fill a very narrow part of the spectrum; they need partnerships with Comcast, Verizon, and other cable operators like Microsoft has for their Xbox 360 media initiative to get access to their streaming libraries. Not to mention the major networks, Hulu, Major League Baseball, Amazon, and a bunch of smaller operators.

Without content their box is just a useless hunk of plastic and silicon. Throwing it in a bunch of TVs won't change the status quo.

Re:The real challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650216)

If the networks say no to Google's customers' money, then it sounds like the main content standard that Google TV lacks, is bittorrent.

Re:The real challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650396)

Goog is purchasing Moto Mobile, which makes STBs for Comcast, Verizon, etc. Once that deal goes through, they'll have more sway with all of the operators.

Re:The real challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650574)

Add to this that a number of networks have blocked Google TV from displaying their online videos.
"I'm afraid your computer has too big a screen and we don't want our website to compete with our TV stations."

Re:The real challenge... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649812)

That's one challenge. Another is the feeling of being spied on. No thanks.

Re:The real challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649854)

One wonders why Google don't simply up and buy a content producer, or even just set up their own. They've got all the technologies they need, and they've got the money.

Re:The real challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650024)

Usually what you read on (decidedly Pro-Google) /. is that nobody who creates content should actually get to profit from it. It's no wonder Google is not anxious to dump money into that.

Re:The real challenge... (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651188)

I think Google's real challenge is with the content owners. If it would 'just work', then I believe the product would sell.

Well Roku has managed it - can't imagine why Google wouldn't be able to do the same thing, with all the money they have.

Buy, stop service, scrap devices (2)

XrayJunkie (2437814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649734)

Problem with some of the google services, including the first TV service attempt: They hook you and drop the service later on. Everyone deserves a second chance, but this time, consumers and partners will be much more carefully. But they have some experience now - they might not make the same mistake twice.

Or (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649764)

Is this me stating my opinion as a question while strongly implying that it's a fact?

Too little too late? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649792)

I don't even know what GoogleTV would do for me, and frankly, I'm not interested in spending the time to find out.

I have a two-year-old big screen TV, NetFlix, and regular Hulu via the dedicated computer attached to the TV; and I don't even watch that much, compared to other people I know. To be honest, I'm not even curious enough to explore the other services besides NetFlix that I can get through my TV. Google would have to communicate what they have that's so much better than what I've already got, and even then I'm probably not going to bite.

Anyone who thinks I'm going to 'discard' my TV just to buy a GoogleTV (or an Apple or Ubuntu TV for that matter) is fooling themselves. Okay, sure, if I was so inclined I could sell my 'old' TV on craigslist, but you know what, even that's more than I want to do.

(Oh yeah, now get off my lawn. :-))

Re:Too little too late? (2)

Tx (96709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649874)

"Anyone who thinks I'm going to 'discard' my TV just to buy a GoogleTV (or an Apple or Ubuntu TV for that matter) is fooling themselves. Okay, sure, if I was so inclined I could sell my 'old' TV on craigslist, but you know what, even that's more than I want to do."

I understand that you're not very interested in Google TV, but if you're interested enough to post a comment on it, you should be interested enough to spend ten seconds finding out that it's available primarily via STBs, as well as being built into TV sets. Selling your TV is not necessary.

In other words, the AppleTV device is coming. (3, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649834)

I guess this is in response to the supposed Apple TV (as in, the physical device with a screen rather than the little streaming box they currently have) that Apple is allegedly working on, and Google sees the chance for some collateral sales when the inevitable marketing tsunami from Apple arrives.

Nothing wrong with that I think, but it's going to live or die on content. As someone has already pointed out, the TV (and TV peripheral - DVR/online box/streaming device) market is hard to get into so you need a compelling reason for people to want to get your particular device.

Re:In other words, the AppleTV device is coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651154)

If Apple builds an actual, big-screen TV, it'll probably be $3,000+. Their current 27" monitor is $1,000.

This will not compete with the Google TV box, or TV's with Google TV built-in. It's for a different group of people.

Needs PVR Ability (3, Insightful)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649848)

None of these devices, Google TV or Apple TV, are going to take off unless they offer a simple and effect way for a customer to record a show. This can either be Over The Air or Over The Cable. People WANT this feature because it is ingrained into their thinking.

The ability to On Demand order and watch a show over Broadband still needs widespread adoption and availability. See other posts here about "content."

Without easy PVR functionality, then these devices are just extra devices duplicating my already includes services in my big old stupid DVR/Cable box.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649954)

The simple solution to this is to use Windows 7 Media Center.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (1)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649990)

The simpler solution is to buy a Tivo.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (3, Interesting)

gauauu (649169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650848)

The simpler solution is to buy a Tivo.

Yes, it is simpler, but Tivo requires a subscription. That disqualifies it, in my book.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651410)

You aren't most people.

Once you've gotten to the point that you're willing to build your own appliance, you're in the same territory as people willing to put Linux on that homemade appliance.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649996)

What people want is a lot of TV they want to watch and for a small price or free.

The reason for Netflix popularity (with the recent mess-up excluded) Is with its streaming for $10.00 a month you get a lot of options and they are/were updated frequently, which is a lot cheaper then buying DVD's of those TV shows you liked, and you don't feel bad after watching them not going back to them for a few years.

But unfortunately the media providers are still wary of this medium and want to over charge for this.

Re:Needs PVR Ability (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650114)

Without easy PVR functionality, then these devices are just extra devices duplicating my already includes services in my big old stupid DVR/Cable box.

See, my PVR functionality is my DVR/Cable box, so I don't need my additional device to do that for me. I guess, being able to record shows off the 'net sounds good, but with bandwidth caps and the like, I don't do such things over my internet connection.

For me, being able to stream my entire media collection that I already have (including the Digital Copy of movies I've been buying) through my TV on demand. Between DVDs I've ripped from the ones I own, and the Digital Copies, I've got well over a hundred movies on-line, as well as my entire music library.

My AppleTV basically made my 25 disc CD changer completely obsolete, and it also turns my TV into a huge digital picture frame, as well as being able to play my movies.

If it had storage, and had the hardware needed to do recording, it likely would have cost me a lot more than what it did, and I might have been less inclined to buy it. My computer already has a huge amount of storage.

So, YMMV, but for me, the AppleTV filled a gap and gave me exactly what I was looking for. I don't need to get more stuff off the internet, I want to access the stuff I already have.

They cancelled so many useful projects... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649852)

...FOR THIS?!

Damn it, get your priorities right Google. Seriously.

Re:They cancelled so many useful projects... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650370)

There is so much convergence in devices these days - PCs, laptops, netbooks, tablets, phones, "smart" TVs. If Google aren't in these spaces they run the risk of someone else getting there first and owning the market. All of those projects you think are cool are all driven by what you probably consider the mundane projects that nevertheless get money into the Google coffers.

ARM architecture (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649890)

What's up with ARM architecture? Is it good or is it whack?

Re:ARM architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650804)

It's not as good as sex with a mare, but it's not whack. The instruction set is generally pretty clean (like a freshly washed mare) and the assembly language is fun (like the aforementioned mare). Basically, if there is a heaven, it probably involves writing ARM code while having sex with a mare. And no cowboy neal.

Re:ARM architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650998)

What kind of a car is a mare?

Re:ARM architecture (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651592)

It's cheap, low power, and inferior performance.

Typically ARM based video players can't just play what you happen to have lying around. Things need to be translated into a format basic enough for the hardware to handle. This can be done permanently on a per file basis (Handbrake) or in real time as needed (AirVideo,Plex).

You don't want a USB port on the front of your AppleTV/Roku because it would choke on your home movies.

I own a Logitech Revue (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649902)

I was anticipating the new OS 3.0 for my Revue for many months, and after the update I was very disapointed. Sure, I have an app store now but most of the Apps for it are junk or don't work! It still depends on the Chrome Browser for stuff like Hulu and Crackle, Netflix seems cheap and cut down, DLNA doesn't work with my NAS. The list just goes on. I feel like I'm using a device that was built 5 years ago. Why can't they just make a simple, easy to use device that provides a large selection of channels/providers with the ability to access content on your home network. I like the Ruku's simplicity design but it lacks DLNA, and I like AppleTV because of versatility but lacks providers. I also like the XBOX 360 with it's speech recognition from the Kinect but the ads get a little too anoying.

The field is still wide open (5, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649912)

Set top boxes (or pucks, as they're becoming) are still an open field. Nobody has managed to create one without screwing some portion of the consumer market, or getting screwed by content providers, or both.

I've had a Roku box and an AppleTV, along with a not-quite-the-same Popcorn Hour and a HTPC. What I've decided is that these things, when combined with a TV, are a lot like tablets. They're great for consumption, but the key is having applications which cater to various niche markets. To me, that means two things. You have to offer a framework for the content providers to make money, and you need to give application developers the chance to expand the usefulness and content options available.

I gave up on the old Popcorn Hour a long time ago. The HTPC is nice, but I don't have the time to "manage" they system regularly and keep up with patches and bugfixes in add-ons. It works as a media player with the real remote control. I've tried the online streaming and it works, but the content is woefully limited. The Roku had some major launch issues with their v2, and I gave up after a month of poor streaming and difficult-to-manage navigation. The AppleTV is the easiest to use, but is a tough sell with their pay-for-everything-all-over-again model. I've jailbroken the ATV2 and use PLEX to stream my library for now. It's stable enough that the family is using it, and knows to just let it reboot when the application crashes (which it does frequently, as it's not a supported client).

That's a very longwinded way of getting to applications. The iFoo and Android platforms are successful because they offer a huge array of content and content sources, all supported by their own separate dev teams. I don't have to wait for Google or Apple to create a Hulu+ client - the Hulu guys will do that. If it sucks, I won't buy their service. Same for Netflix, or Pandora, or any other service.

I expect that if, and I say if, Apple opens the doors to applications on the ATV, the market doors will close very, very quickly on everyone else. They're the only box that has the silky-smooth, easy to use interface that makes it easy for a non-techie to use. Even when things go wrong, it like a weeble - the screen blinks black, and two seconds later you're back at the home menu, like nothing every happened. That's comforting to the average Joe or Jane, and it's easy to get the family to understand (i.e. - a reset requires zero interaction and nearly zero time). If it weren't for the (nearly) iTunes-only content model, it would be an absolute winner.

So yes, there's an opportunity here - but it does require not fucking it up. And tech companies have proven that, on the whole, that's the one thing they're really good at. Your move, Google.

Re:The field is still wide open (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649994)

"They're the only box that has the silky-smooth, easy to use interface that makes it easy for a non-techie to use."

I dont know I never use it unless I needed to reboot the Atv box to get bac kto the XBMC install on it.

The latest XBMC makes the apple TV interface look like a complete turd. having a 2tb NAS full of bluRay and DVD rips delivers an experience at home that apple on their own refuse to give me.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650222)

Have you looked into Plex? Very similar to XBMC and works with APTV, or you can install the whole Server/Application on a Mac Mini.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651026)

I'm glad you got XBMC to work. I got it to work, but not being a linux guy was pretty baffled by the options to install the various packages. It also had issues with streaming when I was playing with it, and the interface sucks. Every try and scroll/page through 400+ movies? Yeah, try that with plex and it's a whole different world, with very little setup required, plus it has supported clients for iOS devices. XMBC can do more, but Plex does what I need it to without requiring that I mess with the internals, and I appreciate that. I'm even willing to show my appreciation of the saved time with my wallet.

If Plex gets an official client on ATV, esp. in a non-JB condition, every single TV in my house is going to have an ATV the next day. It's that awesome (when it works, which is most of the time).

I've got sickbeard and couch potato with sabnzbd running on a win box at the moment, feeding a 6TB unRaid server. If I were more confident in my linux skillz I'd put it all on the unRaid box, but I'm just too concerned I'll screw something up - or more specifically, that I won't be able to get the server back to the pre-altered configuration. Again, it's worth a couple extra dollars in power a month not to mess with a system I will have trouble fixing.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651260)

You must have tried it years ago.

Installing options are point, click, drool.

And the media manager works just fine scrolling through 65,535 movies. search and sorting by genre,name,actor,director, lighting guy, electrician, and catering are all easily possible.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651406)

It was probably 8 months ago. Hulu never installed, I couldn't find netflix, and most of the packages had non-descriptive names and clicking on them to install did nothing. Again, it was an early ATV client. As for scrolling, It would have taken the better part of 10 minutes to get from beginning to end of my movie list with the remote. It didn't see to cache the entire list locally. Plex takes about 15 seconds.

Actually, one of the problems was the all-inclusive interface. Sure, you could get to everything on the server, but you couldn't get to my wife's playlists in iTunes without exiting XMBC, which required actually executing the EXIT tab. In Plex, you just go "back" until you're at the top ATV menu, select her library, and go. That may seem trivial for you and me, but for the rest of the family, it's not.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651442)

I should add - the graphics in XMBC are cool, but I'm one of those guys who has a black desktop with no wallpaper. To me they don't add appreciably to the day to day experience, though they make for nice eye candy when friends see it for the first time.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651656)

> but not being a linux guy was pretty baffled by the options to install the various packages

apt-get install xbmc

> and the interface sucks. Every try and scroll/page through 400+ movies

Which Plex solves how exactly?

Plex is essentially an XBMC for. However Plex manages this problem was likely already solved in the original (XBMC).

Re:The field is still wide open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651076)

I have a 3TB NAS and use my GoogleTV to directly stream from it.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651202)

To be fair to the grandparent, they did say that ATV is the only "box" that delivers a good interface. XBMC is awesome, but lets be honest, only a techie is going to install and maintain that software on dedicated hardware. To make money on these TV gadgets, the products are going to need to appeal to the very large market segment that is willing to spend money on a smartphone but does not have the desire to root or mod the software.

Re:The field is still wide open (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651276)

ONly a techie does the initial jailbreak. My grandma maintains the XBMC install on hers just fine. It's self updating.

Re:The field is still wide open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651398)

having a 2tb NAS full of bluRay and DVD rips delivers an experience at home that apple on their own refuse to give me.

What experience is that? I have only 500GB at the moment, but my Apple TV works great with it. I'd like to know what I am missing.

Re:The field is still wide open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650172)

The plex client for roku is also pretty nice. No hacking needed.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651034)

I tried it, and it was essentially unusable a couple of months ago. And when I say unusable, I mean that none of the common codecs could be streamed, and you got a crash, a "can't play this content", or an infinite wait for streaming to start. It may have changed, but I also found all the mandatory icons/portals and the advertising on the home page to be somewhat intrusive. I don't really want a $50ppv ultimate fighting championship link as the default first click on the kids TV in the playroom.

Re:The field is still wide open (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651444)

I expect that if, and I say if, Apple opens the doors to applications on the ATV, the market doors will close very, very quickly on everyone else.

I just got an Apple TV about a week ago, and haven't had a chance to check into it, but it seems that there are a number of apps already supported via "AirPlay" on the unit: http://theapple.tv/apps/ [theapple.tv]

Android (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649920)

I've been seeing a lot of Android-based mediatanks and mediaplayers lately, complete with TV guides, dedicated apps and, ofcourse, access to the entire Android market.
What's the benefit of GoogleTV over these Android-based alternative?

I've got one arriving Wednesday (3, Interesting)

chroma (33185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649924)

Over the holidays, I got a chance to give Google TV a serious tryout at my parents' house. They bought the Sony Blu Ray player with Google TV built in.

I liked it so much that I ordered one for my living room. It arrives tomorrow.

The Netflix/Amazon/web integration works very well and there's even an app store. I'm planning to use it for all my TV viewing and getting rid of cable.

Re:I've got one arriving Wednesday (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651186)

I agree. I don't know what is it with the "overpriced" word on the summary. I got mine for $800, a 42 inch LED 60Hz. By the time everyone was so disappointed it wasn't 120Hz or 240Hz (don't really know why they need that for Internet streaming anyways), that they failed to realized that it was an $800 set (not a $1200+) and it had a CPU inside.

Netflix integration is great (It has declined a bit since, its latest version is not as intuitive as it was originally), and the capability of flash, allows you to go to many places (except for Hulu that blocked the thing and never provided an App, so I still have to use the laptop through the HDMI).

And a portable remote/keyboard that most people think should be I guess a 10 digit frustrating remote?

I sincerely don't understand why all these issues with the people (I don't think the TV has significant drawbacks).

right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38649926)

Because in addition to knowing every other single thing about what everyone in the world does, I also want google to know what I'm watching on TV.

As long as the "back end" is open, (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649930)

so that it works with the likes of Ubuntu TV [slashdot.org] , Boxee, and maybe even Miro [getmiro.com] so we don't have even MORE competing standards I'll be happy with it. Having LG on-board is the best thing I've read about this, hardware manufacturers are often one of the most important steps, and my LG Blu-ray player is the coolest thing in my living room. Even if the Blu-ray drive quit working that player would still be the central part of my entertainment setup considering all the online and UPNP support built in. LG is the right partner for this. Samsung is not unfortunately, I tried going Samsung first but I found their local media support to be a joke. Their online stuff wasn't bad, but the player was sluggish and buggy.

Once ISPs in the US start pushing for better access to more places cable will become irrelevant and I can't wait.

Re:As long as the "back end" is open, (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649978)

LG already has a "smart TV" platform box as well as TV's. I just wonder if LG is going to skip their crap software and put GoogleTV on it instead.

Re:As long as the "back end" is open, (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651394)

Meh, I'd rather just everybody program applications for Wii/XBox360/PS3. Netflix is so popular simply because they make it easy for people to use. You don't have to buy a new box. You don't have to hook a computer up to your TV (which until computers started having HDMI cables a couple years back was was quite cumbersome). You just turn on your game console, which already has a wireless remote, and browse content and watch it. I don't know why more of these online systems don't just support devices that people already have hooked up to their TV. Google TV should be software you install on your console. As should Apple TV, Hulu, and all the other content providers. Nobody needs another box under their TV, and nobody need a tv with a computer built into it when we all have a perfectly fine computer sitting under our TVs anyway. The Wii is only $100. And if you simple must have HD the XBox is only $200. These devices should be the only box you need hooked up to your TV.

Nope, it's dead. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649964)

If it's not $99.00 and they get rid of the crappy HDMI passthrough that was an epic fail. IT's dead before it hits the shelves.

They also need to make it so I can change the browser ID string so that I can bypass checks on sites like NBC.com and ABC.com and watch their streaming on the TV.

Global TV or any other TV. (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649982)

I'm sat in the UK and want to watch content from Japan (not porn!) - Apart from streaming or putting a dish on the roof (not an option) howelse can you get it apart from streaming / downloading it? Swap the ads to sell local crap and show me programs I want.

Re:Global TV or any other TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651042)

want to watch content from Japan (not porn!)

They have content that you would watch which isn't porn? I bet you're just saying that in case your mom happens to ask what you're doing down there in her basement.

"Is this a case of too little, too late?" (1)

ciantic (626550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38649988)

No. What else is there? Thats right! Nothing... I'd say it's a whole lot, whole early.

Just like with Google Health, it was pioneering the idea which wasn't ripe for mass adoption yet. Idea behind Google Health is viable, it just needs more bureaucracy, help of government and time, more time.

Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1, Informative)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650000)

Windows Media Center had many great feature, even today it still provides feature that no other device has, like the ability to use as a DVR, and Digitial Tuner capabilities. I think with Windows 8 Media Center, it will be the killer Media Center that will have it all and everyone will want to adopt to. Think of all the features it will have - New easy to use interface with voice and touchscreen capability, maybe even be able to use the Kinect. Digital TV Tuner with PVR functionality and a nice friendly Guide. Netflix, Hulu, and many more online content providers intergrated. App Store, apps designed just for your TV. BlueRay support, if not you can easily install PowerDVD or Total Media Theatre which intergrates very nicely. There is nothing Windows 8 Media Center won't be able to do.

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650162)

Windows Media Center had many great feature, even today it still provides feature that no other device has, like the ability to use as a DVR, and Digitial Tuner capabilities.

You mean like MythTV, SageTV, ReplayTV, Tivo, and every cable provided DVR box I've seen.

,

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650190)

None of those Applications have Netflix or Hulu intergration, or at least they don't do it very well. Plus, none of them will work with BluRay that I know of. Windows 8 Media Center will be all those plus much more!

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

gregmac (629064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650348)

Will it finally support remote tuners? (or does it do that now?) One thing I love about my sage setup (and about Mythtv, before that) was that I could have one server in my basement with a few tuners and all the noisy drives, and then have a silent, tiny box sitting next to my TV with just power, ethernet and HDMI out, and an IR remote. I just pick a channel to watch and it figures out an available tuner to use (truthfully, I usually just pick a show to record, and never watch live tv nor even think about "channels"). It doesn't matter that I have an analog cable tuner, a digital OTA antenna, and a couple digital cable tuners -- there is a single guide, with a single list of channels, and when you watch a show you have no clue where it comes from. That's the way it should be.

On top of that, of course, I do NOT want the complication of a full PC on my TVs, such as security updates, fighting to ensure no other apps steal focus, absolutely never requiring a keyboard/mouse, etc. That's part of the reason I switched to Sage from Myth, actually (that, plus I could not even get close to building a silent, disk-less PC for the $150 that it used to cost for the Sage HD extender, not to mention getting it to play 1080p video or boot in 5 seconds).

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38651370)

check out this - works very nicely in Win 7, although no analog tv only DVB-T / DVB-S/S2

http://www.dvblogic.com/

allows you to decrypt encoded sat feeds as well.

has sage not been discontinued now?

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651704)

You can use a slingbox or an XBOX 360 to remote Media Center to other TV's. I've used XBOX 360 Media Extender it works very nice. You could build a low profile HTPC for around $300. I also use a cheap NAS drive to store all my videos (dlink dns-320), but I would recomend getting a Netgrear Readynas.

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651690)

What constitutes "integration" exactly?

Having a built in app that comes preloaded isn't really "integration".

Re:Windows 8 wil be the real deal! (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651562)

Windows Media Center had many great feature, even today it still provides feature that no other device has, like the ability to use as a DVR, and Digitial Tuner capabilities.

You mean like MythTV, SageTV, ReplayTV, Tivo, and every cable provided DVR box I've seen.

,

I get frustrated with most of the crap coming out of Microsoft. I tend to use Linux/Apple/Android/anything else if I can. But, with Media Center, it's one of those things they've managed to do a good job with.

Good luck getting any content from a cable provider with MythTV, SageTV, etc. If all you want is OTA local channels, they are fine. But if you want to tune in anything else you'll need a tuner box with another tuner, and none of that will be in HD. CableCard and Media Center works well. Don't even get me started on the horrid interfaces that come with the cable DVR boxes. I refuse to deal with that crap anymore.

How to regain your lost potential (2)

ALeader71 (687693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650028)

Here's the way I see it. If I can download my content apps: Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon On-Demand, Pandora, etc from the Marketplace and get TV screen sized content from the Android Marketplace I'm buying.
Now if Google TV acts as a content organizer ACROSS these apps and marketplaces, then Google TV provides something I can't get from any other set top box - Integration. I want the couch friendly schedule, but I don't want to jump between apps to view my content. If the price is right, you'll blow competitors like Roku (which I own) out of the water.

Here's how you do it: Get the content delivery companies to allow you to grab the customer's content listings and the providers' catalogs and sort them into Google TV's database. Customers can search the new, bigger catalog and choose the most competitive price (don't mention competition to content providers, it makes them cry). Give customers a day-by-day listing of new subscribed content, replicating the look-and-feel from current set top boxes.
Include your YouTube rentals and users' subscriptions and user's podcast subscriptions and now you have something I saw when I was a kid and they talked about "the future." Now if Hulu can't cut a deal with USA Network to stream TV shows to set top boxes, it won't matter. I can get them from my Cable or Satellite providers' On-Demand service. If I change providers, I don't have to completely re-program a new set top box or deal with ugliness that is the Comcast/Cox interface.

Re:How to regain your lost potential (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651228)

I have the set (The Sony TV -- Sorry, for buying Sony!). The recent update allows you to run Pandora in background and even put a widget on the screen. Now allows to install apps and has access to some App Market that I haven't found use for yet (But it has some games and other apps). I think you can now stream from your Mac as well.

I think with these changes, they finally seem to be working on the right track.

Maybe Google will eventually strike gold (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650330)

Perseverance really is key to success. Google tried Buzz, Waves and now, with Google+, it seems the social networking (and related) initiatives have brought some benefits.

Microsoft also didn't give up with the XBox, and is finally doing OK.

I actually own one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650376)

and i think it works OK. there is more and more free content added all the time, and it works well with both netflix and amazon prime. i like the ability to open google chrome and surf the web, which is not an otion on other devices. i also have a roku hd, and would rate it about equal.

I'm rooting for them (3, Informative)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650460)

Unless they change a lot and add a lot of content I see no use for me in any of these set top boxes/built in TV interfaces. I have a media center PC and it does everything they do and then also a whole lot more. None of them can just go to NBC.com and pull up last night's show for free. If they did then either they'd need some sort of agreement with the broadcaster which would probably be too expensive or they'd need a fully function web browser which would eliminate their dumbed down interface. I see no reason I should pay someone to give me less than what I could easily get on my own.

Re:I'm rooting for them (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651160)

I want the PC stuff, but I don't want the PC user experience. I don't want a keyboard, I want a remote - preferably one remote for the whole operation. I don't want to have to navigate to a page, sift through web cruft, just to get to the video. I don't want to have to shut down or switch from a browser to a media player to a media streaming application (unBox/Netflix/Hulu+) except by flipping to a "home" menu and selecting the app. Actually, I take that back - I really don't want to have to switch at all, I want a single damned list of everything, already aggregated from my purchased iTunes, personal media server (ripped media), and subscribed streaming services (Hulu, Netflix). I'd like it sorted and easily browsable and searchable. I'd like a single button to turn on or turn off the ability to see content for purchase or rent, ideally from multiple sources, and with a one (well, two really) click purchase-and-add-to-my-server-and-cloud-and-start-streaming button.

And I want a pony.

Why oh why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38650694)

....hasn't any manfacturer come up with anything sensible (practical/affordable etc) that integrates a tablet and TV unit which connects to various services on the net and which is so simple that (figuratively speaking) my grandma can operate. (God bless her soul, she died while I was in my teens)

Everything I have seen are all "too's" (Too fiddly, too fragile, too costly, too much in your face, too techy, too shitty!)

I remember seeing something from Samsung (or was it Panasonic...or was it Philips..??) which looked like a tablet controlling a TV, but nothing after that.

There was an example from Samsung: http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/02/samsungs-55-inch-c9000-lcd-and-its-amazing-touch-remote-control/ - but my wife would skin me alive if I spent that kinda money on a TV (Last heard it was around £3500 in the UK!)

Price the 50 inch TV + 8 inch tablet remote/media player under a £1000 and you got a winner.

Sony seems to be doing something: http://www.slashgear.com/sony-outs-2nd-gen-google-tv-boxes-with-streamlined-remote-10208207/....but...meh.

Does that mean that Apple needs to come along and hang their dong (looks they are soon gonna) so that every other manufacturer can follow and say Apple does this, so should we. That's pathetic!

Re:Why oh why... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651220)

The problem with tablet interfaces is that they are inconvenient, or very limited, or require lots of custom programming. They do (almost) exist, but are for high end setups and generally require you to be in the vilified 1% to afford them, or devotion of a good chunk of money, programming knowledge, and LOTS of spare time.

What I want is iOS (or android, I suspect, but iOS is simpler) on my TV. A page or three of icons that lead to entertainment portals, all accessible with the common, everyday infrared remote, using standard, learnable code commands.

Content problem (1)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650776)

Ok-- I'm not the first one here to point out that google TV failed because of lack of content, but IIRC the idea was initially that it would be able to pull in any content off the web-- including hulu, abc.com, nbc.com, etc... but the content owners immediately blocked google tv from their web sites. What I don't get is... why didn't google just code around this and give you the chance to change the user agent? Make it look like firefox on windows xp to the servers and call it a job?

Re:Content problem (2)

txsable (169665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651242)

There is actually an option on the Logitech Revue to change the user agent, but doing that breaks the custom UI interfaces for youtube, dailymotion, etc. I have not tried this but I'm seriously considering it.

We got the Revue and a digital antenna last fall after deciding that we didn't want to pay $120/month (at the time we cancelled) for cable services that kept getting less "service" for more money every month. (it was $85/mo when we subscribed 4 years earlier,and we didn't change anything in our subscription since then!) With the digital antenna we get about a dozen channels in our area. If we lived in a major metro area we'd probably get 30 or more channels. We supplement that with Netflix streaming and occasionally hooking the laptop up to watch something from ESPN or other network streaming. (Except Doctor Who...can't get new episodes streaming in the US, far as I can tell! Get smart BBC, we'd love to watch, too!)

Our biggest complaint about the Revue, and Google TV in general, is not the Revue nor Google TV's fault. It's ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the rest of the big broadcasters who seem to think there's a difference between watching streaming shows from their website from a Google TV device and a laptop hooked to a 37" LCD television. My personal choice would be for Google to de-list from search results any station and network that won't work on Google TV, until those networks realize they are 1) alienating potential customers who want to watch their shows and 2) contributing to the "piracy" they claim to hate when people find other means to watch the shows they want to see because the networks are too...short-sighted? stupid? to give their viewers what they actually want.

Too Late (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38650824)

Yup.

Re:Too Late (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651416)

Crap. "Too late?" is a stupid question.

Of course it's not. This is a brand new market. All google (or any other player) has to do is sell a product that people want to buy, and make available content that people want to access.

The same is true in the tablet and smartphone space. There are uncounted millions of people who have not bought a smartphone, and who can probably be convinced to do so. So no matter what the market shares look like today, it can all change in a [relative] blink if a new competitor comes on the scene with something that people want to purchase.

When it comes to tech, it is usually only "too late" for a player to enter the market if you buy into the hype from the tech blogs.

MS did this one right... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651508)

They went after the content providers/creators and got alliances with them for the Xbox. Google still hasn't learned that lesson and we're going to get YouTube on a box, which I can already do with Xbox anyway.

I think that the media center wars will favor MS, but time will tell. There are a lot of companies to get on the same page, and MS has been working at it since they introduced Media Center (which now has a better uptake due to the Ceton cards out there), and they've finally got some stuff going after ten years. Time will tell who wins out ultimately, but if Google wins that's fine by me. I don't want Apple to win because I think I'll probably pay a premium for shit I could watch on a DVR for free.

I see a pattern (1)

Lindan9 (2465020) | more than 2 years ago | (#38651580)

Apple TV fails (twice I think now) Google TV fails and now they are trying again. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
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