The Google TV Platform Preannouncement

Funny. TiVo wants to be the Google of television… but so does Google.

What Google did for the Internet, TiVo is now doing for the TV, bringing people a combination of excellent search results and innovative discovery that can’t be found anywhere else. -Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO

At Google’s annual developer conference yesterday, they elaborated on their television intentions – beyond the spring soundbite. As you might expect given Google’s search DNA and the appification of everything, Google TV supports both. And, taking a page from Yahoo’s Widget TV initiative, Google intends to work with a variety of hardware manufacturers to deliver Google TV.

For starters, we know DISH is onboard for some sort of satellite television integration and Sony will provide at least one connected television and Google TV-ed Blu-ray player. Logitech’s doing something too. (Huh, using Google TV as a remote control for TiVo?)  The first devices are expected to hit this fall, at which point I’ll probably have more to say.

While it’s a commendable goal to bring web content to the TV in a manageable way (like a variety of others, say Boxee), the best web video originated on television or in theaters. I don’t need access to thousands of websites serving random content of varying quality. It’s the same reason many of us want Hulu everywhere. We don’t care about “Hulu” per se, but we do care about that large catalog of professionally crafted content. The future of TV is… TV. I’ll let Mari sum it up for me:

Click to enlarge: (via BGR):

12 thoughts on “The Google TV Platform Preannouncement”

  1. They did have hulu as one of the sources in the searches, right? Or was that just wishful thinking?

    The “watch web video with chrome” thing felt very much like a kludge to me in the demo. The useful bit was the search results that could hit your local program guide, random web sources, and services like netflix, amazon vod, and hulu.

    I can’t find a screenshot, naturally, but I’m remembering the search results for house in particular. It showed an entire season’s worth of episodes in a table, with different available sources for each ep as the columns.

  2. “What do I want from TV? Back catalogs of every show ever created.”

    Mari should watch this 1999 TV commercial for Qwest.

    In the ad, Willem Dafoe clearly articulates that what she wants is already here, and was already here eleven years ago to boot. I don’t think Willem Dafoe would lie to us.

    Are you trying to call Willem Dafoe a liar?

  3. Haha. Nice try google, but I think they forgot about one thing. I don’t know what I want to watch. I can’t find it, unless I know what it is with their system. That is the problem that I have with Netflix. Despite the ratings and movies you’ll love, I still have a tough time going through and finding what I want to add to the queue. Of course, if I have a movie in mind, it is a piece of cake.
    Also note, google’s offering seems to require a keyboard. Aren’t there enough complaints about too many/complicated remotes? Now you have a keyboard too. I presume they will do something like the yet to be released Tivo remote. The other fallacy with google’s idea, is that no one else is doing it. Tivo Search already does it. Now maybe Tivo needs to sign up more partners to have content from more places, but for all intents and purposes they provide the same search functionality (searching for and actor/movie will bring results from my cable, netflix, amazon, etc.). Really, I think google is going after the audience that has no DVR and no cable/sat either. That seems a pretty small subset to go after. Especially when you realize that the TV will probably carry a price premium (if they can pay that, they can prob get cable). A person’s internet connection, just can’t provide the bandwidth necessary for a great HD picture either. I see what they are trying to do here, but I think it has any chance of revolutionizing anything. It does add side functionality, which isn’t a bad thing.

  4. I want HD content not a search engine. Will it have cablecard support? If not, I don’t care. Is the concept of live tv on a television too hard to grasp?

    It is funny how people reporting on GoogleTv do not understand how STBs from cable cos work. You can’t just plug in an hdmi cable from your STB into a GoogleTv box and get HD content. I also love how people portray Apple TV as the main rival for Google TV. Seriously?

  5. How can the Google TV search my recordings and cable VOD offerings if it can’t even change the channel without using an IR blaster?

    Over the top content is great, but without very tight integration with the most watched content it isn’t very useful.

  6. Still a fail for tivo. They wasted their money building a flash interface, and google built a better one that other companies (sony, etc) are going to use.

    Bad for yahoo TV widget, which was just taking off.

    I still think AppleTV has some potential. Bring widgets and app store. I’d agree the killer app for TV is still games/shows+movies but it is a big ass monitor that can display lots of information.

    I think will kill WD Live and other small fry.

  7. Oh, and I meant to say the killer app is sports.

    MLB/NFL/Premier league streaming + scores and news. You could kill ESPN.

    Also weather.

  8. Will it have cablecard????? Is that a real question? Please someone, anyone, Google? Liberate us.

    The Qwest commercial immediately came to mind for me as well when I read Mari’s quote. Funny.

    You have to think that they management team at TiVo is seriously thinking about a Google exit at this point. Or maybe Cisco or Logitech. Nothing from preventing Tivo from incorporating Google into their platform; and I’m sure players like Roku are looking at getting this into the fold quickly.

    Google is way ahead of the game here (and the market really) and is taking a shot across the bow of AppleTV. I expect that we’re going be hearing some news on aTV sooner than later. The level of grit on this announcement from Google makes me feel like Goog had to rush this out before Apple makes an announcement.

    The big ommission in this Gtv is the lack of high quality (i.d., HD) content. No one really wants to watch youtube videos on their 52″. But I welcome Google to the game.

  9. The devil is in the details with this one. For the box to be successful, its integration with all the different set top boxes and TiVo will need to be seamless. Yep, there’s a lot of different devices they need to integrate with and I don’t think an IR blaster is going to cut it. Remember, the reason we love TV is that its so easy. While I have lots of great DVDs, I tend to watch what’s on my TiVo since it’s so easy to access.

    I think the point made by Josh is very valid. While sometimes people will want to use search to find a show, lots of the time folks like to surf channels or the guide. In the preview I did not see the guide. Trying to break this paradigm will be pretty tough.

  10. Pointless unless its integrated. They should have just bought Tivo and Google-ified it. As it stands the competing UIs, the inability to search your recorded shows, the input switching if you don’t have a receiver, the IR blasters (god I hated those with my previous Tivo’s), are all signs this thing isn’t ready for prime time. If even Dish isn’t putting it in their boxes (they’re apparently putting in back door IP access for the Google/Logitech box, not integrating Google TV into their satellite DVRs), then this thing just isn’t going to happen. Tivo is really their only shot–there’s no way Cisco or Motorola is going to integrate this when the cable giants won’t want them to.

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