Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Google TV’

Google TV Devices Delayed ➝

Ashlee Vance and Claire Cain Miller, reporting for the New York Times:

Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard. And it illustrates the struggles Google faces as it tries to expand into the tricky, unfamiliar realm of consumer electronics, and drum up broad interest in a Web-based TV product that consumers want.

How long until Google TV joins the likes of Wave and Google Notebook.

$299 is Expensive

At yesterday’s Logitech Google TV event, Logitech officially announced the Logitech Revue set-top box with Google TV. The device comes with a wireless keyboard with integrated touchpad and directional buttons, an HDMI cable, one IR blaster, and a couple of AA batteries. The Revue will be released at the end of this month but you can pre-order today for $299.

That’s right, $299. The very same price point that Apple’s Apple TV abandoned over a year ago.  A price point that happens to be three times the cost of Apple’s current Apple TV offering or five times the cost of Roku’s low-end offering.

Price points like that aren’t going skyrocket Google TV into the stratosphere. At $299 the Logitech Revue competes more with game consoles than it does with the Apple TV and Roku’s set-top boxes. But, with the Apple TV and Roku boxes you’re getting an entirely new television experience, one that  I would argue is much better than Google TV’s. With Google TV you’re getting a set of internet-connected features glommed on top of your current television experience, with IR blasters in between. If you were to spend $199 or $299 on an Xbox 360 you could use it as a media center extender for the Windows computer in the office and you’d also get Netflix streaming and high-definition gaming.

I’m sure the ability to search for television shows is a great feature but it’s certainly not worth $299, especially when you consider competing options. Another big selling point mentioned by Logitech is the ability to video chat with the optional Logitech TV Cam. Not a terrible idea, but at $149 just for the webcam I suspect that most people would rather keep the $149 and just video chat on their computer with it’s built-in webcam. Heck, at $149 you’re not too far off from an iPhone 4 with FaceTime.

Oddly enough, I think the single biggest selling point is that the software is built by Google. Contrast that with the Apple TV whose selling point is 99-cent TV show rentals, $3.99-4.99 HD movie rentals, and the best Netflix streaming experience available and I’m not sure anyone would be able to justify the extra $200 just for the Google logo.

Google and Sony Working on ‘Google TV’ ➝

Nick Bilton, writing in the New York Times, reports that Google, Intel, and Sony have come together to develop a platform called Google TV.

The platform is based on Android and they plan to release a toolkit to developers within the next couple of months, with actual products appearing as early as this summer.

Google TV will allow users to watch standard television programming while also letting them view content on websites like YouTube and Hulu.

For anyone who ever gave up on the Apple TV because of it’s lack of functionality, Google TV should come as great news. This is exactly the type of competition that Apple needs to get them innovating again. The Apple TV hasn’t seen too many improvements since it was first released back in 2007. There is so much potential in devices like this, the market just needs somebody big to push it forward, Google could be that somebody.

I’m really excited to see where this connected set-top box market goes. I think Tim Cook was right, there is something there.