Since October 2011, Google TV has been available in the United States. The next step in syncing our lives, Google TV allows users a customizable homepage, where users can keep shortcuts for their favorite channels, apps and games. It’s available by buying either a Sony internet television, Sony Blu-Ray Disc player or a Logitech Revue box set. The Logitech Revue box set also comes with a wireless keyboard because like a regular homepage, Google TV requires heavy text input in order to yield results. An example would be the search bar which sifts through all mediums to find whatever you type, so a search will yield results on both the internet and television.
Google TV can be linked with Android products as well, so popular apps like Pandora, Twitter, Netflix and NBA Game Time come preloaded, and a cellular can act as a remote, even to the point where its voice recognition capabilities can be used to change channels. Basically, Google TV acts like a larger version of the Honeycomb (Android’s tablet computer version of the iPad), only lacking the popular touchscreen.
Despite the novel concept of internet TV and Google’s previous success, Google TV appears to be failing. Can Google TV survive? Unsure of the direction Google plans to take with their entrance into the television arena many major networks are blocking Google TV. Channels hesitant to side with Google TV include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Hulu, SyFy and Viacom. These stations can still be viewed as regular television channels, and only their internet webpages block customers from viewing their episodes and shows via Google TV. Google has repeatedly claimed that their wish is to compliment, not compete with already established networks, yet Dish Network remains the only willing partner for Google TV.
Maybe it is this lack of network support which has caused so many customers to return their Google TV box sets. Logitech Revue, the company which makes Google TV set boxes, dropped their price from $249 to $99 in an attempt to increase sales. In their first quarter of 2011, the company actually lost sales as more products were returned than bought, and they hope that the new economically reduced cost will act as an incentive for more people to purchase Google TV’s new products.
Despite this setback, Google TV plans to launch in the UK and Europe in early 2012.
While in Europe promoting this launch this past week, and according to the Globe and Mail
, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt admitted to some failures of Google TV’s to fully interest customers, saying, “Google typically brings out beta versions, and they’re not for the faint of heart, and I think that’s what you saw. We were not able to get the product perfect before we shipped it.” However, Schmidt remains confident in his partnership with Sony and Logitech and believes Google TV will push forward to gain more clients and partners. Some speculate that Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola could pave the way for acceptance by major networks, since Motorola produces large quantities of set-top boxes. Customers will have to wait and see if Google TV can bounce back or if it will be remembered as a more comfortable way to stream the internet from your couch.