You can’t see it, but I’m tapping out over here. Why? Because for the life of me I cannot understand the hype surrounding Google TV (and by extension, the Logitech Revue and other, similar items). It’s not that I’m anti-Google TV—that would be silly—it’s just that I don’t “get it,” for lack of a better phrase.
What is Google TV? That is, what is Google TV besides another potential revenue stream for Mountain View? It promises to bring the Internet to our TV, right? Watch TV shows from this service, listen to music from that—all well and good. I may not the biggest TV watcher out there (outside of soccer on the weekend), but I can see this being at least handy for some people. Anything to eliminate that cable bill, right?
But we’re nowhere near close to that happening. As Matt has said time and time again, the future of TV will very much be decided by the likes of Comcast and Motorola and not, much as you may like to see, the likes of Google and Logitech (again, not to pick on Logitech, they’re just one of the first guys to really get behind Google TV).
You say you’re willing to cut the cable, but only until you find out that your favorite show isn’t available on Hulu.
We’ll leave unmentioned (well, barely mentioned) that your favorite TV show is probably available online, but you’d have to be OK with firing up uTorrent or SABnzbd or paying for a Hotfile account. And if you know how to do that, and are cool with “acquiring” content in that manner, then Google probably isn’t expecting you to be all over Google TV.
So we’ve established that Google TV will bring the Internet to your TV. Great. But you know what? I already “have” the Internet. You do, too.
It’s called a computer—and to a lesser extent, a smartphone.
Imagine a company making the following announcement:
Great Company, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of the MEGADEVICE. With the MEGADEVICE, consumers will have access to innumerable applications, everything from games to productivity—and more! You’ll be able to, with our special interface, view all your favorite movies and videos, look at photos of your grandkids, and even talk to people in real time! It’s future-proof, too, as you can add specialized hardware as you see fit.
Sound familiar? Like I said, it’s a computer, and you already have one.
So why the excitement over Google TV?
Does Hulu (or whatever) not work on your laptop? Can you not listen to music via pandora.com? Will YouTube be any “better” if it’s seen on your TV rather than your monitor? (My monitor is my TV, for all intents and purposes. Soccer streams are very, very helpful!) I simply don’t see the point.
Again, I’m not anti-Google TV, it’s just that I really don’t see any particularly compelling reason to hop on board yet.
Maybe that’ll change. Maybe we’ll see high quality, exclusive content make its way to Google TV. But if you think the ability to tap into Napster (really, Napster, in 2010?) is going to convince me to hunker down and hop aboard the Google TV bandwagon, ha!
I just need a little more convincing is all. Maybe one of you out there in Internet Wonderland can help me out here.