Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google TV 2.0 Review, Tweaks, and Screenshots

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Android 107

DeviceGuru writes "Google and its Google TV 2.0 partners made quite a splash at CES this week. As a followup, this detailed blog post at DeviceGuru reviews Google TV 2.0's features, specs, apps, and flexible new user interface, and shows how you can add customized folders and shortcuts to the home screen for accessing hundreds of favorite apps and websites within a couple of mouse clicks."

cancel ×

107 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Google TV problem (1, Informative)

TechGuys (2554082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712504)

Anyone who has ever used or read about the original Google TV would know that the problem wasn't about technical details, lack of customized folders and shortcuts or user interface and apps. You know what it was? The lack of content! Since Google didn't work out deals with content providers, all of them just started blocking Google TV. I don't care about whose fault it is, but since Apple TV and all the competitors have worked it out (hell, even Microsoft with Xbox360!), there is no point in buying Google TV! The worst part is those who bought the original Google TV could not know about it beforehand, and soon found that there is absolutely nothing to watch apart from some stupid YouTube clips.

Another funny thing is that they're adding tracking and suggestions to Google TV. Can't wait for those "did you mean to watch this instead?" questions!

So what Google should do is stop playing with new user interfaces and features and actually work out the core feature, having content to watch!

Re:Google TV problem (2, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712556)

Same comment applies to cable TV. 500 channels of nothing worth seeing.

Re:Google TV problem (5, Interesting)

TechGuys (2554082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712584)

Well that just the same old elitist "nothing but junk on TV" line. In my opinion there are plenty of good shows on TV, in fact more than I even have time to watch. Saying that there is nothing good to watch is pretty much the same when old people are crumby about how everything was better before and teens can't behave now. Now I get off your lawn!

Re:Google TV problem (3, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712706)

I can agree that there are shows worth watching on TV. My problem with cable is that, to see the 5 or 6 shows I like, I've to bump up through the packages until I'm spending $80+/mo just to see them. If there are 3 currently airing in any given month I'm paying something like $20 per show. The rest of what I watch is just fluff to have something playing in the background.

I'm encouraged by Hulu, Netflix and now MSFT producing original content. At least one of the Hulu ones I've watched is actually good. I can only hope that more companies find ways to do it profitably and jump on board.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712812)

What I'M waiting for with much anticipation is when I have to pay Hulu, Netflix, and MSFT separately to get access to their quality original content! Much better than the current model. And, once other companies see there's money in it and set up their own "networks", I can pay each one to support their "garbage" while reveling in the quality of their good content.

Yup.

Re:Google TV problem (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713074)

I'd rather pay 6 companies $5-$10 a month for a total of $30-$60, and have the ability to pick and choose what I want.

If Hulu decides to charge $25/mo for access to one decent show while subsidizing 10 other crappy ones... well I cancel Hulu.

And that's the nice bit of it all. A competitor doesn't have to source STB's for clients or deal with provisioning. They don't have to spend all that money convincing you to change your cable company / phone company / isp. They don't have to send a person and a truck full of equipment to your home to install hardware. Their serviceable market is as big or as small as they want it to be, etc.

So really, the barrier to entry in distribution is a tiny fraction of what it was, which means there can be more providers, which means they have to do it competitively. I can only see that being good for us. But yeah, maybe I'm overly optimistic.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717282)

And that's the nice bit of it all. A competitor doesn't have to source STB's for clients or deal with provisioning. They don't have to spend all that money convincing you to change your cable company / phone company / isp... But yeah, maybe I'm overly optimistic.

Quite optimistic indeed if you're assuming that Comcast will be just pleased as punch turning off your cable service and still providing you bandwidth to carry OTHER people's content. You can be assured that as soon as it looks like it's a serious threat to the millions they pay to their CEO, they will find a way to legally curtail it... i.e., have new laws created that makes it illegal. That's why cutting content deals are SO very important. Because no one currently has the funding to put together a network that would be carrier agnostic.

And don't try to do that either... I'm sure there are already laws against that on the books :)

Hows the Google TV2 hardware? (3, Informative)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718592)

I own both an AppleTV and a Roku XDS. The Apple has only HDMI output and Ethernet, and will do really annoying things like quit providing Internet Radio within just a few minutes if you turn off the HDMI monitor.

The Roku XDS has HDMI+audio, composite, component, analog audio, digital optical audio and USB ports, along with WiFi and Ethernet connectivity. And it works just fine if you tune in, say, the (totally awesome) 1rockfm* stream, and then turn off the monitor.

The *new* Roku looks more like the AppleTV, it's missing all that glorious connectivity; that lack sent us to EBay recently looking for another Roku XDS.

The very first thing that comes to mind when I hear about new set-top boxes is connectivity. Because what use is one of these if you can't hook up to it? And why should I have to keep my video monitor on in order to listen to an audio stream?

*not associated with 1rockfm other than it's my favorite rock station

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712882)

Examples please?
It's not elitist to say that there's "nothing but junk on the tv", i agree, most of it is rubbish (ahah) .
And everything was better before!!! my brand new XT with a 9k6 modem rocks!! (it only took me 5 hours to download the captcha to post this message)
You snoopin' kids really can't behave.

oh just fuck off. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713052)

It doesnt even change from country to country. Indeed, you get 100 channels, and at most 10 out of that 100 is some watchable stuff, with 3 that out of ten are the real sellers that are put there to make people buy it (sports, some documentary channels, some major mainstream stuff), and rest 90 channels are just shit.

even discovery channel had splintered itself to around 10 channels and diluted its content by spreading its noteworthy programs to those 10 channels, and 'marketing' them separately.

really.... sometimes i think that we need to shut down all 'marketing' departments to make the world a better place.

Re:oh just fuck off. (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718952)

The problem is, that each person's 10 watchable channels are different channels.

Re:Google TV problem (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714566)

Nothing is on.

A fancier real-time viewer is not going to change that fact.

You need something to search through all of those 500 channels for weeks on end day and night to find the few things that are worth bothering with. If you just "channel surf", you are not likely to find anything.

Unfiltered cable does seem like crap.

You need a different kind of device. It's not GoogleTV. It's trying to solve the wrong problem.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717576)

Well there is nothing but junk on TV, unless you have the mind of a teen.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38715230)

yeah, but you can find that nothing far easier with GoogleTV

Re:Google TV problem (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712564)

From GoogleTV's Twitter [twitter.com] :

can't say for sure but we are working with various networks to bring more stuff to GoogleTV. Keep your eyes peeled.

I wonder what that comment is worth, but I don't think they will make the same mistake twice.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714406)

They've also said that google tv will be in half the tv sets made by some time this year. I'm going out on a limb and saying that if half the tv's sold have gtv in it and the networks dont figure out how to deliver their content to that at a profit then they're a bunch of idiots.

Oh wait, they ARE a bunch of idiots. Well, stay tuned. Something is going to happen.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38715828)

I don't know about you, but I don't want any Google product in my TV. I permabanned all Google products months ago when that Vic Gundotra shithead decided to alienate the users with his stupid Real Names policy and have no intention of going back, even more so after the Kenya Fiasco.

Re:Google TV problem (4, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712578)

Why should there have to be deals made to watch Internet content on a box connected to my TV?

Re:Google TV problem (0)

TechGuys (2554082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712604)

Ask the content products. The reality, however, is that they need to work out the deals. Pointing the fingers at them while your own device is not working doesn't help customers at all, especially since every other device works.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712650)

It doesn't make any sense at all. Do Firefox need to work out deals with web content providers?

HTPCs are for geeks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713530)

The advertising market for video played back on a desktop PC and that for video played back on a television are very different. Incumbent professional video providers see a version of Firefox designed for desktop (as opposed to set-top) use and assume that it must not be someone in a recliner, because conventional wisdom is that only a tiny minority of people [pineight.com] have media center PCs, home theater PCs, set-top PCs, or whatever you're calling them this week.

Re:HTPCs are for geeks (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714604)

That's not a sufficient excuse.

A public accommodation is being treated like some sort of private members only club. It's just not seen for what it is (or criticized as such) because the context has changed and most people haven't caught up yet.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712662)

Ask the content products. The reality, however, is that they need to work out the deals.

Or they can just leave the market to work itself out - people who choose not to have their web content available to people won't have their web content available to people.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714810)

"They" are part of "the market", so how is this different from what's happening?

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38714946)

"They" are part of "the market", so how is this different from what's happening?

I think it is what's happening. Sorry if that was unclear.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712622)

Do you REALLY need more content than Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Youtube provide?

Re:Google TV problem (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712782)

I don't get Hulu Plus on my Logitech Revue with GTV 2.0, and even if I can access it through the Chrome Browser, why would I? I'd much rather use my Roku, much simpler and easy to navigate.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714380)

See, I find the gtv box to be the easiest and simplest. You type in the name of a show and it figures out where you can get it. With the roku, you have to check netflix, h+, youtube or any other source one at a time.

Plus directv and comcast wont authorize a roku player to use hbo go. But the revue and sony gtv boxes are fine.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714012)

ESPN3, among others

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714360)

Sports arent there, and isnt there a network or two that doesnt work with hulu plus or netflix or have youtube videos? Is sci-fi and the food network available? How about hgtv?

Re:Google TV problem (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714638)

That doesn't even represent the full potential of what streaming services can offer. Never mind "stuff in general".

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712630)

Google isn't accustomed to providing content; they're accustomed to linking to others' content.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712648)

And profiting from others content by advertising around those links. That's the most important, and to content owners, offensive part.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38713472)

You dumb Microsoft shill. What do you think that POS 'search' engine Bing does.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714836)

lol. A simple indisputable fact about Google, in a discussion about Google, is stated, and suddently the poster is a Microsoft shill?

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712678)

Troll alert Troll alert Troll alert

Hey, DCTech. Long time, no see.

How's CmdPony? InsightBytes? What are some of the other ones you were using? Dave something? Doug? hmm...

Why all the new accounts? Why do you need more than one? /. must be your training ground, because you really are shitty at this.

Troll alert Troll alert Troll alert

Still posting first, still being upmodded informative (obvious would be more like it. How be you tell us something new?)

Obvious troll is obvious

Re:Google TV problem (0)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712994)

You may have a point... I didn't notice the timestamp and the account number, but after reading your post I took a look at his posting history and I have to say that there's something fishy.

Uhm, since when it has become about content? (1)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712988)

Uhm, since when Google TV is about consuming some content from the internet? It's an operating system for TVs! TV vendors are jumping on "let's have a TV OS" bandwagon, which is a great thing. (and no thanks, I don't want to have a separate ugly box, with its own power supply and yet another hdmi cable; "original Google TV" wasn't for me for exactly this reason) It's a big thing for TV manufacturers, TV officially turns into yet another PC. But there is next to no point for people who're ok with buyng yet another box to plug it into TV. There are plenty of options, with streaming, internet browsing (heck, even recording) and what not. Pretty much any device with some sort of arm CPU cand do most it, not mentioning, cough, HTPC.

Re:Google TV problem (5, Interesting)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713010)

Here we go again.

Every time I click on a news story involving Google, I'm all but positive that the first post will be:
a) Posted with a 2.5+ million UID
b) Over 100 words long, yet still posted the same minute the story goes live
c) Negative towards Google

Here we go again. Welcome back CmdrPony / InsightIn140Bytes / DCTech. Happy shilling. Hope you karma manages to hold out for more than 4 days this time.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38715206)

Regardless, he's not wrong. Google does have a legitimate content problem. They run the risk of being outfoxed by competitors with content deals - including the Xbox 360 of all things - if they can't get the cable providers on-board.

Re:Google TV problem (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38716678)

Yes, he actually is wrong. He is setting the problem up as "TV over the Internet should work exactly the same way as TV has for the last 100 years". It doesn't.

And the insidiousness is that you can't even reason with him - he is being paid for his opinion, and no amount of logic will be able to change his advertisement (and yes, that's what it is) that Google is bad, and FB and MS are good.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713274)

I have no problem with my Google TV and content. I get a lot from Crackle.com, that's built in. I also know of a website that provides links to almost any show I can think of. This site plays fine on my GoogleTV. I can't stream live TV without getting an HDMI stb for my OTA antennae, but that's not a big deal. I just change the TV to what I want to watch and flip back to GoogleTV for everything else. GoogleTV also is able to play any media file I've got on my network, PS3 and Xbox360 can't do that.

Re:Google TV problem (1)

Volvogga (867092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713322)

There's lots to watch... and my Google TV puts it all together for me. Did I miss some promise where by getting my Revue, I was magically supposed to double the amount of "premium" and mainstream content I previously had access to?

It is a middleman device between my cable box and my TV. Instead of using the 5+ year old, unresponsive, slow, and rather unattractive cable box guide to find something to watch, I can use this device to search for something to watch by name, genre, and a few other factors (and for some special functions like On-Demand, I can still fall back to the cable box without the Revue caring at all). It also tells me if the program that has caught my interest is available on Netflix streaming, or available to stream from Amazon, which also means I have a relatively low power device to use those services with (and it is very nice not having to fire up the harrier jump-jet that is my roommate's Xbox360 for Netflix).

In addition, have you ever seen a group of people gathered around a small laptop while someone looks up a product, or watches a YouTube video? That can be done in my living room with other people comfortably seated and minimal personal space being violated.

No one that has seen it, techy and non-techy alike, has not thought it was a impressive little device in my home. The issue comes up for 'if only I had a TV that was new enough to support it' or 'I don't have the extra money to spend on one and my cable box & Xbox/PC works for now...' as far as not buying one themselves. That is the problem, in my opinion. What people currently have is good enough, and they don't *really* need Google TV. Start building the product into TVs, as they are now doing, and I don't see any more problems with the product taking off.

That being said, I can see where those that paid $300 for the Revue thought they should get free Starz or something. That price point was kind of a joke. I am aware of what you are referring to in that a few choice channels block their web player when detecting Google TV... for some stupid reason. Most of whatever they are blocking is in the free On-Demand list of my cable provider anyway. Check the screenshots for the new Vizio devices and the remote has a Vudu button, so it seems that is coming soon. I am a happy Google TV consumer, and will probably look for the logo when I upgrade my bedroom TV in the next year or so.

The Broadcaster Problem (2)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713348)

So, you're suggesting they stop working on things they can control and send all of their people to the broadcaster waiting rooms?

It's not a Google should do this or Google should do that. The studios and broadcasters are actively blocking Google TV from even using Hulu or NBC.com.

This isn't a Google issue. Just like if Sony told Apple to go stuff iTunes, there would be no Sony music on iTunes. The Beatles were not on iTunes for a long time, and it wasn't the fault of Apple. They didn't want on iTunes for whatever reason.

If the networks don't want on Google TV, there isn't a damn thing in the world Google can do. The broadcasters don't even want Google to purchase Hulu, which they've shown interest in buying, but only if they have content deals extending long enough to prove it's worth anything.

You say "since Apple TV and all the competitors have worked it out (hell, even Microsoft with Xbox360!)". There are three problems with this. #1 - Apple doesn't run a competing service like YouTube. #2 - Microsoft owns a part of a broadcaster, but has no viable content business of their own seen as a threat. #3 - As far as I know, those other services are either A) Rentals (iTunes) or Subscription (Netflix).

And, unless you ignore the fact that Amazone video and Netflix among many others are available on Google TV, Google TV offers at least as much.

So, what do you want? An HBO Go App? Sure, you can get that, but only if you have an HBO subscription already. It doesn't matter if you are on XBox, Google TV, or iTV.

Some companies like HBO have said, point blank, they will never, ever offer a la carte.

So, let's back off a bit. Google is selling an interface. All they have power over is the interface. Telling Google to force broadcasters to provide content is like telling them to force cellphone carriers to provide unlimited data to all Android devices.

Not gonna happen.

Re:The Broadcaster Problem (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714848)

"The studios and broadcasters are actively blocking Google TV from even using Hulu or NBC.com"

Yes. So what you're left with is

"And, unless you ignore the fact that Amazone video and Netflix among many others are available on Google TV, Google TV offers at least as much"

Sure, which means it's competing head to head with devices that are

1) less expensive
2) have more content (last I checked, iTunes has more than Amazon, at least here in Canuckia)
3) easier to use
4) doesn't need a frigging keyboard

So the question isn't "what can the GoogleTV do/not do" so much as "why would I want one when there's all these alternatives?" As you said, they all do the same thing, right?

Re:The Broadcaster Problem (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38715428)

Let's hit all of these, because they are good questions:

1) less expensive

Neither an iTV nor an XBox will be cheaper than a Google TV device, which will most likely be built in. Also, if it is built into a DVD/BluRay player, that's 2 advantages over both iTV and XBox. Anyone think an iTV integrated TV will be cheap? ;)

2) have more content (last I checked, iTunes has more than Amazon, at least here in Canuckia)

Yes, but will iTV support Pandora and upcoming versions of Spotify? Will it have Twitter, G+, and Facebook apps? Google TV content is not restricted to rental movies and shows. Will iTV make Apps available from the Apple App Store? If so, then there really will be a content arms race.

3) easier to use

Depends on device and/or interface. I'd argue that the main advantage of Google TV is passthrough from cable/satellite/dvd/bluray with overlay of apps. This is something no other device does. For the average non-geek (non-cord cutter) who is watching Grey's Anatomy, this is huge. It also makes cord cutting easier with the "in line" Google TV or with TV's integrated with Google TV. You can use the new Simple TV, or existing DVR. You cannot do this without much more complex setups on iTV, XBox, or Roku and some form of SlingBox. None of that is easy for the average user. This may change, but not in the near future.

4) doesn't need a frigging keyboard

Actually, voice controls are coming, along with gestures. Right now, at this moment, without a keyboard, all systems suck in my opinion. The reason I like my Logitech is the keyboard.

However, this is changing. And actually, using my smart phone as my Logitech's remote, I have voice inputs.

Personally, I think the Wii controller is the best TV interface I've ever seen. And I learned to type on an on screen keyboard with it, but it's horrible. However, I hate gesture controls.

Give me a Wii with a button for voice input, and it will be as Steve Jobs said, "licked". Until then, a keyboard is as good as it gets. No sane person wants to even write a tweet from an XBox controller.

All in all, I think if we're talking future devices, yes, Google TV may not be the best. But for now, there's only vaporware.

But, it will still be less expensive. Until we know what the next iTV will look like, you need an XBox with Kinect with voice recognition will be a challenger... however, it will still need apps to effectively compete.

With Google TV getting OnLive, the XBox will also be challenged as a gaming console. And I think that puts the iTV out of the race without some serious App support. I'm personally hoping to see a Wii Google TV with voice.

I think if that happens, it's game over for everyone else.

Re:The Broadcaster Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724284)

Love the comment but I do disagree with a portion of it. I think Google does have a strong case to sue these media companies for the same reasons why Google themselves have been sued in the past...Anti-competition. If these companies will not allow Google to BUY Hulu then they need to allow a competitor to enter the marketplace plain and simple. Also I think it is a bit of a stretch the reasoning why these media companies are not allowing Google TV to function as designed. All GTV is doing is acting as a form of a web browser and displaying it on a TV rather than a computer screen. Again the way they are handling the situation is anti-competitive. As the lawsuits against Google have been worded 'Taking advantage of their dominant place in the marketplace'.

Now that being said if these organizations are let off the hook by the courts then Google needs to do what they do best. Compete directly. Go out and make their own shows, bid on pilots, even pick-up shows which networks have canceled (Which I am not sure if its possible but that would/ could be great for business- what is not viable on traditional media may be profitable in new media)

that problem was caused by closing the box (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713848)

If you root your google TV (thus voiding the warranty, at least in the Logitech Revue where it required soldering to root the box) you can trivially hack around this problem.

Once the box is rooted, you just change the flash player ID. Then Hulu and their droogies can no longer can tell you aren't a Windows PC running IE, so you aren't blocked.

Refusing to actually understand and abide by the Open Source value proposition is what sunk previous versions of Google TV. If logitech had an "SSH login enable" checkbox on the revue (the way they do on the Squeezebox, which is an awesome linux-based platform) end users would just solve the problem for them, free of cost and free of legal liability for the vendors, and Hulu would have to suck it up.

Re:that problem was caused by closing the box (1)

packslash (788926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38716070)

yah that's a sweet solution for my mother. brb having a soldiering iron shipped to her house.

Re:that problem was caused by closing the box (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717234)

'Zactly my point. When llogitech closed off their GoogleTV box they ruined the product for your mom.

They don't understand what they are selling, and how to make it profitable.

Rubbish! (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714308)

The problem with GTV1.0 (apart from being available almost no place, and an exorbitant cost) was

1. They did not have the market on it - and actively fought people from sideloading
2. Had done absolutely nothing to make a powerful LOCAL media player

So you couldn't watch much online and nothing offline, and so you had an expensive piece of crap.

This time it seems they will allow people to install (and thus the hackers of the world can bypass any block)

But if they don't get it right this time there is no point in them trying a 3.0 version

Re:Google TV problem (1)

defcon-11 (2181232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714322)

Once Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility is complete, they will be able to integrate their technology into Motorola cable boxes, which are the most common cable boxes in the US. Then things will really start to change.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38716030)

Gosh, you type quickly. Your comment and the article both went up at Monday January 16, @08:04AM. TFA must be short indeed.

Re:Google TV problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724064)

Actually Google is in a great position. They are improving what they know they can control which will make the average person very happy with their solution. I would prepare for this coming year to be the year where Google rocks the socks off these media companies who will likely all get sued for anti-competitive behavior by Google. I'd also be prepared for the other companies contracts to be part of the demanded discovery to ensure competitive pricing is obtained. The music industry has already began to play ball with Google wanting a competitor for Apple. Again expect the same for the Movie and TV side of entertainment as well.

Original Google TV fimware update (4, Interesting)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712542)

What about the early adopters who bought the original Google TV boxes - is there a firmware update available to bring the new features to them ? Or they are supposed to chuck them to the garbage bin and buy new ones ?

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712608)

it's TV. it's garbage to begin with. throw it out and learn brainfuck

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712796)

I already know brainfuck

  >++.>+.+++++++..+++.

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (1)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712694)

Garbage.. Because once newer models come out the older firmware gets corrupted and the device becomes bricked.

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713732)

An device that relies on Internet services and receives no updates to work with the changes to the protocols of said services is as good as bricked.

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712762)

From what I read on various places, these boxes are supposed to be updated automagically to Honeycomb 3.1 with Android market. In fact, the update delivery has already started.

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712776)

By Google TV box , do you mean Logitech Revue? Then yes, the update was released towards the end of last year. If you do not see the update, go to Settings --> About --> Software Update. You should get a message saying Update available. Click that and you should have the update at the end of it.

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712936)

That's the last year update - also mentioned in the beginning of TFA. But all the bells & whistles are described for "upcoming hardware in 2012".

Re:Original Google TV fimware update (3, Interesting)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713398)

I bought a Logitech Revue, and we've finally received the last update. We probably won't receive the next. Then again, the hardware is a little light to provide much else beyond what it does now. For $99 it was an awesome deal. It's a huge step up from BluRay's that play Netflix and Pandora, and easier than Roku (in my opinion, your mileage may vary).

I might augment it when Simple TV comes out (the OTA DVR featured at CES this year).

Google says something nice about themselves... (3, Informative)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712718)

The link in the summary says one thing from google. Here's a thought from someone who isn't from google saying something about google

http://gigaom.com/video/google-tv-ces/ [gigaom.com]

The last paragraph reads

While it’s clear that the CE industry needs to do something to fight fragmentation between the dozen or so smart TV platforms, it seems unlikely that Google TV will be its savior in the near future. Google might have more partners than it did a year ago, but they’re hardly adopting the platform en masse. Unless something drastic happens, don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Very poor of slashdot to drink the Koolaid like this.

Re:Google says something nice about themselves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38713324)

I don't think people view TV the same way as a smart phone or a computer. They will use it to _view content_ and maybe visit a few web pages. Any time-waster games will be seen as a bonus.

If you can:
- watch netflix
- Hulu plus (Hulu free will always be blocked from non-PCs)
- Amazon prime
- netflix
- whatever other pay-for streaming service

Plus:
- look at facebook, google restaurant reviews, etc

Bonus:
- Stream stuff to/from your smartphone/tablet

  If the target audience was people who wanted apps/gaming - they probably would already have a PS3, Wii, or Xbox.

My point is that, currently, if the OS meets a very low bar, fragmentation won't be a problem.

Consoles are more selective of devs than phones (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714138)

If the target audience was people who wanted apps/gaming - they probably would already have a PS3, Wii, or Xbox.

Except unlike Apple with its iOS developer program, Sony and Nintendo appear to have no way for the general public to sign up and develop "apps". And as far as I can tell, Xbox 360 "apps" have to be games and nothing else.

Re:Consoles are more selective of devs than phones (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720842)

And as far as I can tell, Xbox 360 "apps" have to be games and nothing else.

Is Netflix a "game"?

Xbox Live Indie Games vs. native (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721406)

The only console environment whose development is roughly as open as iOS or Android, the platforms most commonly associated with the term "apps", is Xbox Live Indie Games. This environment is far more restrictive than the native environment in which Netflix runs, and console makers are very selective of who is allowed to develop applications for this native environment. Only established companies that have already built a reputation within the industry on another platform can develop for the consoles [warioworld.com] . This other platform is usually Windows or more recently iOS or Android, where startups compete on a much more even playing field with incumbents. So if you are an indie video game developer, and your first video game is one in a genre that would be best experienced on a television, tough droppings.

Based on Honeycomb (5, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712744)

I think everyone knows that HoneyComb (Android 3.0) is a stop gap Google made because Ice Cream (Android 4.0) wasn't ready. Since HoneyComb is a code dead-end, that will be abandoned after Android 4.0 comes out, isn't it clear we should wait for a Google TV based off Ice Cream or a later version of Android?

Still Junk (4, Informative)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712760)

I have a Logitech Revue with the new Google TV 2.0 and I still don't have access to many of the Streaming Channels I have on my Roku (like Hulu plus). The DLNA Media Player doesn't work, menu navigation is cumbersome, and the search feature doesn't work with Netflix. It just doesn't seem polished for TV. It's like using my Android Phone on my TV and having to navigate with a touchpad keyboard, not something my kids or wife could easily use. I think Google missed the boat with this one!

Re:Still Junk (2)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713140)

The search does work kinda. If you search for something that is on netflix it will show up as a tv series. If you launch that result and its available on netflix it will show up as a 'watch now' option inside that app. But I agree it is cumbersome.

Re:Still Junk (2)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713376)

That's funny. My wife and kids have no problem using the Logitech Revue. Granted, they can't find as many shows as I can to stream, but it still works for them. I don't pay for Hulu plus, so that's not an issue for me. The media player also has no problem playing any media file I have on my network. I guess some people just have different experiences?

What is the point of Google TV? (4, Interesting)

Jagen (30952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712876)

I've heard the article, seen the videos, digested the spiel, but I still don't see why I'd want a Google TV box.
It's a standalone box that isn't a DVR, isn't a games console and doesn't play physical media like DVDs/BRs. And it was $300 at launch, did they seriously think they had a winner there?
It seems to be a solution to a problem that no one else thinks is a problem, if it had a least been integrated with a physical media player, or DVR (and I mean been a DVR, not sort of linked up to an external unit), it could have been justified as a replacement for something I already had, as it was it was just another expensive device wanting one of the limited HDMI ports on my TV.

Re:What is the point of Google TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38715152)

Bingo.

I 3 Google with all the fervent loyalty required of someone posting on Slashdot (I even have multiple Google+ accounts), but I just don't see the point in GoogleTV. Actually, I've been having trouble seeing the point in TV at all. The shows I do watch are mostly available through my computer, and I don't need any extra equipment or services to watch them. The ones that aren't "available" (like the New Zealand drama "This Is Not My Life," not legally available on any media in the US) are on MegaVideo or The Pirate Bay. If I want to watch a show with friends, I just patch my Laptop video and audio outputs into a TV and stereo system.

I don't need a Google TV, and until there's a compelling value-add like DVR, I'm not buying one.

Re:What is the point of Google TV? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38715748)

I had the same thoughts as you when it first launched. I was in the room at I/O when they announced it and my comment to my co-worker was, "unless they're giving one to everyone, there's no way I'd ever buy that." They didn't give us one that day, but a few months later an email arrived offering developers like me a free Revue.

I've since come to really like it. It's one of two boxes I know of (the other being TiVo) that are not delusional enough to believe that Cable/Satellite is going away any time soon. Whereas Roku, AppleTV and all the others require that you switch inputs to go from traditional TV to streaming, GoogleTV treats TV as just another source. It's really nice to be able to quickly pause a movie and check IMDB to figure out where I've seen an actor/actress. And it's really nice to be able to pause TV to pull up a YouTube or other internet video. And it's really nice to be able to turn off the TV from another room when people forget to turn it off (happens pretty frequently in my house.)

Even in 2.0, GTV is really rough around the edges...there's just a ton of things that need improvement. But unlike the other devices that are already more polished, GTV has an obvious set of features that will be easier to address. For that reason, I think it's got a lot more potential than the other options.

Re:What is the point of Google TV? (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717130)

Actually, Sony has integrated it with a DVR for $199 (US). I bought one and while I fully agree that the Google TV part is just a joke as far as content goes, it does play Blue Ray!

Re:What is the point of Google TV? (1)

wasme (35127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720876)

The point is to unify the TV/DVD/blu-ray firmware ecosystem.

Google doesn't want to sell you a box. Although GoogleTV is available to Logitech and Roku and others to make boxes the real long term goal is to get GoogleTV to run *on the TVs themselves*. (And on DVD and blu-ray players.)

Right now each tv manufacturer writes its own firmware. My parents recently got an LG tv & home theater system which runs it's own special LG firmware which has it's own special UI and connects to it's own special LG app store. If you got a Samsung system it would have it's own Samsung firmware with a slightly different UI and a totally different app store. Similarly with Panasonic and Sony (Sony already sells a GoogleTV tv but most of their tvs run special Sony firmware) and so on. Even worse if you have a TV from one manufacturer and a blu-ray player from another. Then you have two different types of firmware with two different ui's and two different app stores.

With the market divided like that people have to learn different ways to control different tvs. Sure, technical people can switch between it fine, but it does confuse some such as my elderly parents. A unified system would be better. But even more relevantly with 50 different app stores an app developer needs to write 50 different versions of their tv app to get on all tvs. Or more likely they'll just give up and go develop cellphone apps for iOS or Android instead.

And speaking of cellphones, this is roughly where the cellphone market was 5 or so years ago. Before Android (and now WP7) offered a third-party alternative that almost all manufacturers could [eventually] agree upon using. This made life easier for end users and for app developers and eventually even the hardware manufacturers themselves. Google, as an 'app developer' wants to do the same thing to the tv market. Plus extra bonuses for them if they get a Google OS of some sort adopted as that standard because then searches go to Google, so Google gets to push out more ads. But even without that latter bonus just having a unified platform to target for development really benefits Google - and everyone else at the same time as well.

Google TV Honeycomb sucks!!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38712900)

I had this update pushed to my google tv and it is the worst piece of software bloat I have ever seen in my 18 years of software career. Browser keeps crashing, flash player crashes, media play keeps indexing and never ends. The HDMI HDCP protection causes TV output to go blank every few minutes. I am almost getting ready to throw this piece of Junk HW and SW out!!

Major Flaw in Google TV 2.0 (4, Informative)

pcause (209643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38712902)

I saw this demo'ed at CES and Google made a serious mistake in capability. it turns out you can run only a small set of applications available on the market on Google TV 2.0. The reason for the limited selection is that Google TV 2.0 doesn't support touch/multi-touch. I asked the Google TV person why they weren't supporting multi-touch (at least 2 finger touch) from Bluetooth keyboards/keypads that could provide this capability and hence open up pretty much the full market to Google TV 2.0. he said the capability wasn't in the OS/libraries at all because some OEMs - he specifically mentioned Sony - couldn't support it in their devices. What an amazingly stupid decision. Build the capability into the OS and let the manufacturers with half a brain support it. Users will get most of the market apps and developers will have their lives made simpler as opposed to having yet another Android fragmentation issue to deal with. A truly stupid decision.

Re:Major Flaw in Google TV 2.0 (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713388)

Yeah that's a little silly. I guess the upside is that it's something that can be fixed in software if the users really want it.

Re:Major Flaw in Google TV 2.0 (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717554)

I asked the Google TV person why they weren't supporting multi-touch (at least 2 finger touch) from Bluetooth keyboards/keypads that could provide this capability and hence open up pretty much the full market to Google TV 2.0. he said the capability wasn't in the OS/libraries at all because some OEMs - he specifically mentioned Sony - couldn't support it in their devices. What an amazingly stupid decision.

The reality is that "touch" requires very rapid response in order to work. The mouse was popularized because it abstracted the "touch" using an onscreen pointer... this worked for decades while touch-based technology (disintermediating the onscreen pointer) floundered.

How would you abstract a two-finger touch to a relevant touch even on the display?

Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (2)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713124)

There was no mention of support for common networking protocols such as CIFS (SMB) or NFS file systems. I need the ability to navigate and play my networked media files just like I can through any computer attached to my network. DLNA was mentioned, but DLNA's file restrictions make the networking protocol totally useless. DLNA is defective by design.

It's nice to see that MKV files are supported, unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to directly access the files over a networked connection.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (1)

Curupira (1899458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713708)

What? I can play DLNA just fine over my wireless network (last-year Samsung Smart TV accessing my NAS). I can open mkv, avi and other file formats just fine. DLNA does _not_ restrict file formats. It _mandates_ a small list of file formats (h264 and such), but the manufacturer is free to support more formats, as Samung does.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714342)

My ReadyNAS NV has a DLNA server built-in. I played with it for a while. After scanning in the media files, Less than 5% were visible at the DLNA client (Sony XBR9). Only a few of those were playable. The organized directory structure of the media files was lost was lost. The files appeared in an unorganized list with no directories.

I normally use a Popcornhour C200 via NFS to access my media library. No streaming - just direct access. SMB is a little slower than NFS. I had problems with some of the 1080p media with SMB.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714642)

I have a D-Link DNS-320 NAS with similar issues. It doesn't index properly and only shows a fraction of the videos you have stored. I believe Logitech has admitted there is a problem working with NAS, they blame Google for course.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38719284)

Your problem in this case is the server implementation. There are plenty of good ones out there, but that doesn't fix some of DLNA's other issues. DNLA is junk but you shouldn't be getting the problems you are seeing.

Instead you should expect sketchy compatibility. Like Windows Media Player and XBOX360 playing content from my Linux DLNA server, but my Phone can't. The PS3 can play it from both the Linux server and the Windows box, but can't play it from my phone. My TV can play it from my phone but not he Linux box, but that's not a hellovalot of good to me. *brainexplodes*

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (1)

zeroduck (691015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38719690)

I have absolutely no problem with the DLNA server on the ReadyNAS NV+. I can see the DLNA share from my computer, and it works as expected from my WDTV. If you're seeing a flat list of files, it is probably a setting on your client. The structure that I see is the actual folder structure of the directory the DLNA server scans.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714754)

Yeah. It doesn't "restrict" things, it "mandates" things.

[rolls eyes]

If you a device that can handle normal PC file sharing protocols then DLNA is redundant. Then just handle the files any way you like. It's a solution from a pre-PC mindset that's a little dated now that every little device is pretty much a PC running Unix.

Re:Does Not Support Common Networking Protocols (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38722382)

DLNA's file restriction??? What are you talking about?

Sure, NFS is great, I love typing my IP address, and the mount point point. Main stream usage for sure.

Software remotes (1)

entertailion (2554136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713310)

Great article by DeviceGuru, but he didn't look at the software remotes like Able Remote: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.entertailion.android.remote [android.com] With this app you can use your Android phone as a remote control for Google TV.

Market-only (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714220)

It appears to be Market-only, which sucks for people who recently bought an Archos 43 and don't yet have a $420/year smartphone bill or even a Samsung Galaxy Player in their immediate budget.

Re:Market-only (1)

SilentChasm (998689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717592)

You have an Archos device and you don't have the market installed? Have you tried ArcTools (likely the most popular app in the AppsLib)?

Re:Market-only (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721476)

Three issues turned me off of pirating the Market on devices that don't come with it:
  • When I first learned of ArcTools, I found that it had been taken off AppsLib indefinitely to fix defects. It ended up only being a few days or weeks (I don't remember), but at the time, I thought Google had cease-and-desisted its developer the same way it had cease-and-desisted Cyanogen in 2009 for providing the Gapps package alongside early versions of CyanogenMod [slashdot.org] .
  • I was under the impression that using ArcTools to install Android Market would require me to "Reset Android" [arctablet.com] , that is, delete all my installed apps and their settings leaving /sdcard untouched.
  • I did end up installing ArcTools, but the only Market-exclusive application that I tried (namely Chase's banking app) ended up freezing when I tried to do anything (namely photograph a check for deposit). When I tried reporting this to Chase, I was told Archos 43 was not a supported device because it did not come with Android Market.

fi8St (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38713604)

shitheads. *BSD Vitality. Like an percent of the *BSD BSD style.' In the States that there and has instead Laaged behind, indecision and

GTV Works for Me (3, Informative)

rshol (746340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38713758)

I have a Revue purchased late last year for $99 and upgraded to 2.0. Here are my answers to some of the issues posted above.

1) CIFS/SMB easily supported using File Expert. Sees and opens the SMB shares on my Ubuntu media server just fine.

2) DLNA also works. The Logitech DLNA client works just fine with both MiniDLNA and Media Tomb. The limitation is the codecs supported by Android. If Android will play it you can get it via DLNA.

3) Plex is even easier. Set up a plex server, install plex on the Revue and, voila, streaming video. Plex promises that shortly (ha) it will overcome most codec limitations.

That said I don't want to watch Hulu or some of the other sites others are interested in. I want Amazon streaming video (well supported) and ESPN. Amazon is well supported and ESPN is reasonably will supported. The problem with ESPN is in Flash and, as I understand it, is partially a problem of Adobe, Google, ESPN and hardware. There are some glitches on all fronts, one of the most important is that when Flash sites are coded they make assumptions about the minimum level of hardware available on the client (memory, processor speed, storage) that the Revue does not meet.

So for me its a win. Amazon + 90% ESPN + excellent integration with my Dish box + full web browser + personal movies and photos. Your mileage may vary.

Re:GTV Works for Me (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714662)

Most of the plugin channels for Plex on the Revue don't work.

GOOGleTV !!!! (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38714918)

I'm so excited I get Gmail, Gcal, GoogleMAP, googleVOICE, and in one convenience FOLDER? Folder???? meh...

As an admin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38715422)

I work the phones, helping people operate their new TVs. I have a career based on the "90 day free tech support" sticker on the box.

Yesterday I had some crazy grandma calling me asking how to use the remote to read her email while watching American Idol. It turned out that she had her TV fixed at 480i, and so nothing could scale properly and be usable! She said that she wanted everything "bigger". I told her that forcing everything to 480i would result in low quality and poor scaling, and that she should keep it at 1080 or get a bigger TV.

Then she yelled at me and said she couldn't afford a bigger TV and that she also misses channel 68! I told her flat out that she was a product of a failed public education system, and that she shouldn't even own a TV.

Skyping with Google TV (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717184)

What I really really wanted when I bought my Sony Blue Ray Google TV box (and I knew I might be disappointed) was the ability to hook a web cam via USB and SKYPE using my 60 inch TV. As suspected, I was totally disappointed. I still have to hook my laptop up with wires all over the place. There's no apps for Skyping that I could find. Skype apparently has their own hardware market for Skyping from a TV and doesn't plan to share it with Google TV. Their devices cost a ridiculous amount of money for one solution only skype app in an imposing web cam. We got a long way to go..

Missing the point... (1)

PraFrentex (2513336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38722520)

All this discussion above is missing the point about owning and watching TV. The key differentiation factor nowadays is not content or interface ! These have become commodities, so a Google TV will bring nothing new to the market, except that I can now use all Google Android apps from my TV set...meh ! The fundamental factor is that nothing revolutionary has happened to way we watch and interact with our tv sets since...ever ! A Tv set nowadays is not about how many channels I have, nowadays is about how big it is and picture and sound quality...so think about it, who in the industry is more concerned about picture and sound quality ? Apple and uncle Steve (R.I.P.) have been thinking about this problem and they will bring something to market that will change the game completely, think about a Human User Interface where you could talk to your tv (Siri) and use 3D gestures to control the TV set, something like that will bring people in front of the TV again and make it fun to use...as for the content Apple already has it via iTunes.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>