Google TV could be a big step in getting online video into the living room and into the mainstream. And the early signs suggest Google is creating a great platform as its starting point. The only problem looks to be content, with Hollywood and the big TV studios failing to climb on board.
After months of rumors, Google finally unveiled its plans to bring online video into the living room by announcing Google TV at Google I/O in May.
Google TV is a Web TV platform that will be integrated into Sony TVs and Blu-ray players, and have its own set-top box from Logitech to boot. Best Buy will be selling these devices, with a vague Fall launch date currently set.
The Google TV interface has now been revealed, but as great as it looks, potential content partners are reported to be dubious about the whole enterprise. And without content, Google TV will be doomed to fail.
The Google TV interface, essentially how it will look when we get to use and interact with it on our televisions, has been revealed at Comic-Con 2010. StuffWeLike was on hand to video the demonstration of some of its key features. Thankfully.
Google TV is, at this stage, looking great. Everything looks smooth, well-organized, and most importantly very user-friendly. There are only so many different ways you can set up an online TV platform, but the choices Google has made look to be good ones.
NewTeeVee has a more in-depth look at some key features of the Google TV interface, including Google Queue, some early apps, and the rather disappointing state of YouTube integration.
As nice as the interface is, Google TV will literally be nothing without content. Google is assured of having YouTube and other free online video sites working by the time the platform launches, but premium content is proving more difficult to get hold of.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the likes of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC are skeptical that there is enough worth in Google TV for them to risk it cannibalizing their existing businesses.
Some are even thought to be considering actively blocking the platform (and other devices) from accessing content. Which is something Hulu has previously done to Boxee.
This is all feels a little like deja vu, with the TV and movie industries now following the same path as the music industry has done over the past few years.
The Internet has changed everything, whether we like it or not. The networks need to get on board, while still staying in control and turning a profit, without sticking their heads in the sand and hoping the world doesn’t move on without them.