Google TV launched a year and a half ago. The platform has gone nowhere since according to a recent survey. It relaunched late last year, which brought improved performance and a sweet search tool, but it’s still not worth your time. However, it’s finally getting a bit interesting thanks to Sony Internet TV root hack that enables Flash, finally breaking through the big media’s blockade preventing users from accessing Hulu and other streaming sites.
The hack is a bit involved. It takes four USB drives and a bit work to downgrade the OS to a previous release to enable the exploit that emulates an official system update to install the custom kernel. But it sounds like it’s worth the trouble.
The modded kernel opens up Google TV to all sorts of tomfoolery. This hack alone brings Flash, stops automatic updates (which would kill the root access), and enables NTFS support for external drives — all great updates to Google TV. However, root access finally allows developers complete access to Google TV. As The Verge points out, an adblock app is already in the talks.
Google TV is in trouble, but this is a step in the right direction. The platform was crippled shortly after launch when big media cut off access to sites like Hulu, ABC, NBC and other streaming sites. The Google TV team then spent the next year retooling the platform to be a cable TV companion. It was never supposed to be a device for cord cutters, they said. But it could be a device for cord cutters.
Like most things Android, the next Google TV update (ARM support) is supposed to bring prancing unicorns and enchanting fairies. But owners, clearly feed up with the lack of compelling features, took it upon themselves to hack Google TV and enable features taken away from them. Take note, Google. These are the features you should be adding.