Is Google TV the Next Generation of TV?

The Appetizer

Google TV was just released to the world over a variety of systems and peripherals including set top boxes and fully integrated television sets.  Google TV runs on the Android OS and the videos are played via Flash.  Google TV functions not so much as an alternative to your standard television options such as Direct TV and other cable/satellite providers, but more as an addition.  Google TV enables a user to pull down a drop menu to search for videos that are available online, and view them on their television screen in addition to their current service provider’s content.  It enables users to get on the internet via Google Chrome and download apps.

The Main Course

The Dessert

Google TV is something that holds potential, but I have to keep in mind that it is the very first generation.  The reviews have stated that the search bar is an excellent addition that all tv’s should have.  I personally like the fact that the remotes come with full qwerty keyboards.  Yet there are things that seem cumbersome.  The first and foremost is that it is an addition, not a replacement, of current television providers.  Not that that is an issue, but unless you have a television that has Google TV already integrated, its another set top box that you must add onto what you already own, which means more wires and more set up.   So imagine someone with a dvd player, videogame system(s), set top box, and now a Google TV box.  Let us not forget that it cost too, and it is not cheap hardware.  The main concern I have more than anything is the fact that with it being an addition to your current service, aside from the additional fee, it also has menu overlays that are completely separate from what your current provider has. That means the two menu screens can literally lay on top of each other.  Visually, it is cumbersome, to think that you could have 2/3 different menus on top of each other at once.  In addition, it is the fact that you have to operate functions such as DVR recordings separate from your Google TV even though it can call up some of the programming in it.  Overall, it is an integration and communication issue that needs to be worked out between Google and the television service provider’s hardware.  Yet with this said, there is still another reality– that what they are doing is already being done by others, and this is more of an evolution than something completely new.  With it being the first iteration of the platform, there is a lot of space for it to grow, however, and I am sure Google has plans for it.  The question is as it stands now, does Google TV offer enough to potential buyers to convince them to give it a shot, or do they still have some more aspects to work out?  For content providers, though, it does offer an opportunity, and that is where the money and future is because with something like Google TV, who needs a television provider/distributor for their content?  Make a show, format it and promote it yourself, and bam, you have a potential audience already there over traditional television sets. Don’t be surprised if the traditional concept of networks takes a hit from this, as it encourages further expansion of the concept of content providers and on demand programming.  The main issue that may occur is the same that happened with YouTube– with so many options, how will you know what program to watch or where to find what you  want?  It will go back to the search engine concept much like YouTube is now.  Then if it is Internet based, what will stop someone from duplicating your content and showing it online/tv.  That will effect hits, and not only hits, but ultimately advertising dollars if it is ultimately tracked.  The concept of Google TV could make any/all local programming providers national / international programming providers.  Type in a topic in the Google Search bar on a hot issue, and news videos from all over the country will come up.  Now your local news program has a potential audience on the other side of the country.  Will that require for the journalism to be that much more thorough/unique/entertaining, or will be people really go out of their way to find it? Or will they get tired of having to always type up something, even with a Qwerty keyboard?  In essence, Google TV does have the potential of changing programming and television as we know it, even as an addition to your already establihed television system, however with resistance from companies such as Hulu and even the major networks to support it, how successful will it be?

The Overall Meal

4.5 Stars!

The Doggybag

Do you think Google TV will have a major impact on traditional broadcasting in the future?

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