I’ve generally had mixed feelings over my GoogleTV since I got it in the fall. It’s a promise unfulfilled, largely for 2 reasons. #1, every Big Media company with streaming video on their website specifically blocked the device during it’s first month out. So much for neutral net. #2, there is not yet an SDK, and this is a device all about enabling creation on your TV. That will be fixed soon, and I think after that I’ll be a lot happier. I have a lot of ideas for this platform.
But it has really shined on a few outings, and this week is one of them. The World Science Festival is going on in NYC this week, and they have been nice enough to livestream some of their events. Via the GoogleTV, it’s a not quite HD stream, but very good. I had the panel on about Dark Matter and Dark Energy last night, and tonight I’m watching the lecture on Sleep, going on right now.
Radio Paradise, my online listening addiction, now has a Google TV optimized version of their site which includes displaying cool images in a slide show. This makes me very happy, and I’m thinking about posting up a few of my own photographs to the stream.
Nice work guys.
This was a lot of places, but here is the Ars story:
Viacom joins Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC in blocking Google TV for fear that users might choose to stream those shows over the Internet on-demand instead of watching them the old fashioned way. Google has been trying to assuage the fears of TV execs by insisting that cord-cutting isn’t a real phenomenon, but it apparently isn’t working. Media companies would rather milk traditional TV’s big ad dollars for as long as possible before accepting the less-big ad dollars that the Internet can provide.
This is going to be interesting to see how it eventually resolves. Will the web now diverge into “connected to too nice of a screen” or not camps?
I got my Logitech Revue on Friday, and have had a day to play with it. It is clearly a work in progress, which will be accelerated greatly when the SDK drops for it early next year. The long review of the device will come later. There are some really neat hints of where this is headed though, best exemplified with this screen shot:
That is a search for House looking at the Series results. You are looking at Season 7 results (including items in the future) and next to each episode is whether the episode is available on your TV (i.e. DVR), the Web, of Paid (which currently corresponds to Netflix or Amazon on Demand).
Once you can hook into the content providers interface with the SDK, this becomes really interesting.
One of the things that most excited me out the Google I/O event a couple weeks back was Google TV. It’s a set top box that brings a lot of web content to the TV. But what really excites me about it is that it’s an Android platform, that will have access to the market place. Having this announce come out a couple days after I pushed my first Android app out got me even more excited about the platform.
In my house I’ve got the following devices: a thermostat that’s attached to my home network, with a web interface that lets me adjust the temperature and programs; a TED 5000 energy monitor which is on my home network; a set of weather station sensors that I’m collecting data from on my home server. Each of these have some web interfaces, non consolidated, to get data, and small little screens on the respective devices to go and see what’s going on. And in my living room I’ve got a 42″ TV, with brilliant color.
I want all these various home sensors and actuators to show up on my TV, and for me to be able to control them from there. I keep looking at my logitech harmony remote and really thinking that I should be able to use channel up / down to adjust the temperature in my house when we’re hanging out on the couch watching TV. Not that many months ago, intrigued by how the Netflix Instant Bluray disc worked, I started looking into the Bluray Java spec, and realized that if I had to I could probably build a disc for my PS3 that would do most of this, but it would be pretty custom, and the dev / test cycle would burn through a lot of bluray media. I tried to download the Popbox SDK to see if they’d give me what I want, but they’ve made it impossible for me to actually do that.
Google TV is going to give me a set top box in my living room that will let me get access to a wide range of content, which will be great, but also let me publish my own code to it. As a creator of software, having that application channel, even for only my own use, is just incredible. The fact that it will share a lot of characteristics with my phone makes it all the better.
I really can’t wait until Logitech gets it’s box out there, and I’ve got something to experiment with. Having my livingroom TV be the nerve center of my home is a concept that seems so natural, and I’m surprised has taken this long to bring us this kind of tech.