Sorry, folks. Someone clearly couldn’t keep their mouth shut and let it slip that Fancast.com was Google TV‘s backdoor to Hulu. The majority of the content no longer streams to Google TV units like it did just last week. NBC, ABC, Fox — it’s all blocked. Only Viacom’s content still works, but that’s too be expected considering the partnership between Google and the media conglomerate.
This is getting a bit frustrating. It’s like buying a fancy speed boat, only to discover when you get home the local wildlife nuts convinced the authorities to impose strict speed limits. It’s no fun even if it does save an endangered species and doesn’t seem like the restrictions will be lifted anytime soon.
Google TV is this robust and [nearly] fully-functional system but there isn’t a single reason to own one right now. Sure, the system has its fair share of bugs, but if the free web videos linked to by Google TV Search actually played, it would be reason enough for a lot of people to jump on board. Clearly people want the system; our comments prove that. The major content providers of Disney, News Corp, CBS and NBC Universal simply don’t want to give up their content en-mass for free.
It’s hard to blame them really. Google TV kind of popped out of nowhere and said, “Yo, bra. Why don’t you take a break. I got this.” What’s a company supposed to do? Roll over and let Google disrupt their revenue stream as less and less people are staying with pay-TV providers like Dish Network.
Still, unlike other failed Google ventures, Google TV has the backing of at least one notable hardware manufacturer: Sony. The platform isn’t going to simply fad away. That’s not how Sony rolls. The CE company dropped a fair share of money into Google TV. There’s the two product lines, major TV spots, Internet ad campaigns, and very large (and expensive) demo stations at Best Buys nationwide. Sony is Google TV’s rich uncle who invested quite a bit in the young hipster and will not likely let his investment go to waste. He will make something of it.
Still, I wouldn’t buy a Google TV right now. A nettop connected to your HDTV will stream anything you want. Google TV won’t. It’s that simple.