GoogleTV: Follow On Chronicles
Google TV effort was officially announced at the Google IO 2010 conference in San Francisco. I had, like many, many other blogs, posted my thoughts on the rumors before the official announcement here. This is a follow up to that post.
There were hiccups during the demos at the Google IO experience none the less the it was impressive keynote. Now that it is announced, here are my observations:
1. The Browsing Experience is going to be very interesting. Videos of the demos at the conferences, trade-shows, comments and blog posts indicate that they indeed have bought the full experience of the PC-style browsing to the Television. This will be a game changer. The link shows the GoogleTV User Interface in action – if you observe carefully you will notice that unless you take a specific action – the viewer probably has no idea that there is a browser platform embedded. As soon as you initiate action using the Keyboard, you see a search bar overlaid on top of the video to start of the GoogleTV experience.
2. At the recently concluded IFA 2010, Sony demonstrated (or a video of it) GoogleTV embedded as a part of their TV. Reports & blog comments indicate that the browsing experience was very rich. It is my belief that GoogleTV embedded as a part of a TV would be the most rich experience. It would reduce the add-on cost of a companion box however in the beginning at least it won’t integrate well with the Pay TV STB connected to the TV (and hence Search would not provide results from the STB/DVR). I think it is only a question of time before some innovative developer would build a back-channel app that would integrate at least with the guide of the PayTV STB and Search Results (assuming the APIs for search are available to apps on the GoogleTV platform)
3. Logitech is gearing up for launch their Revue by arranging loft parties – winners have been announced – waiting for the launch now. The challenge I see compared to the Sony’s GoogleTV TV is the cost and hassle of having a ‘companion box’. Logitech, of course, is targeting consumers who want the richness of Android Apps and Open Web without having to buy a new TV!
4. Whether GoogleTV succeeds commercially or not – it is going to herald openness of Web Browsing to the living room. Even if the Web is Dead – the Android apps on the GoogleTV will enhance the TV Viewing Experience.
The only (and major) downside of GoogleTV, especially for mass adoption, is the price tag – beating the Apple iTV at $99 is going to be extremely hard unless Google is aggressive in releasing GoogleTV on semiconductor platforms other than Intel.