• 12-20-2010, 07:30 PM
    Google TV Faces Delays Amid Poor Reviews
    No surprise here. Google TV is going back to the drawing board. Apparently, manufacturers were preparing to do a big rollout at CES next month, but Google is now asking them to delay making any product introductions until bugs in the software get ironed out.


    After the debut of Sony and Logitech's first-to-market Google TV device, and once the initial fawning by the Google fanboys (somethings written up without even using the UI first-hand) subsided, some more serious reviews Google TV began pointing out the many flaws and issues with the platform. Indeed, from what I've read, Google has got a lot of work to do to polish and tighten up the system software.

    What's surprising to me is that companies like Toshiba, LG, Sharp, and Samsung were prepared to do huge Google TV promos and demos at CES, with the software still in a glorified beta stage. I suppose that's fine, given that pre-production units are often used in the CES product demos.

    But, consumer electronics is not like web services in that things have to work right out of the box. Many of Google's services were launched as beta tests, and remained in that state for a long time while Google patched bugs and added features on the fly. Manufacturers cannot (or at least should not) take that kind of a piecemeal approach, so hopefully Google is doing the right thing here.

    However, I think that the real reason why Google is trying to simmer down the hype around their TV product is that they frankly have very little content available. As mentioned in the article, all the major broadcast networks plus Hulu have blocked their content from Google TV.

    IMO, Google blew it big time by releasing their TV product without talking to any of the content providers. They simply put it out there with promises of "free" streaming TV shows, only to have it promptly blocked by the content providers who for some reason want to get paid for helping to monetize and provide content to a third party platform.

    I suspect that Google's now talking in earnest, and if they can get some content partners lined up, then we will see the big promotional push. In the meantime, a pause to get things better lined up is probably a good thing.
  • 12-21-2010, 04:46 AM
    Hmmm...Haven't really been following this product, but it interesting to see just how far Google and Apple have crossed over into consumer electronics and content distribution in the last few years.
  • 12-21-2010, 05:11 PM

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hmmm...Haven't really been following this product, but it interesting to see just how far Google and Apple have crossed over into consumer electronics and content distribution in the last few years.

    It remains to be seen how Google fares in the consumer hardware market, and if they actually want to get into the business of paying for content.

    Being in a perpetual beta mode like they have been with many of their web services (how long was Gmail a beta product?) simply won't cut it in the consumer electronics market. It seems that although they have been in communication with their hardware partners, Google still doesn't grasp the fixed product cycles and longer lead times that CE manufacturers and distribution channels need to plan for.

    Say what you will about the secrecy and control freakery of Apple, but I absolutely cannot see them releasing a TV product onto the market without nailing down the content. It seems that Google simply assumed that if network programs were "free" to viewers on PC browsers, it would be free on Google TV. I don't know if it's hubris or just failure to do any kind of due diligence, but all they had to do was look at how, for example, Hulu is blocked from mobile devices, gaming consoles, and any other set-top boxes that don't pay some form of carriage fee. Paying for content has not been Google's modus operandi. But, rumors abound that Google will soon launch a music download store, so it will be interesting to see how far they're willing to play ball with the networks to gain access to those TV shows.
  • 12-22-2010, 05:26 PM
    Google's really still in a land-grab mode in just about every industry it's in...not surprised their acting before thinking.

    I still have mixed feelings on Google. Some of their software is too slow with delivering promises. But I did replace my iPhone with an Android-based unit and have been very impressed. Google's going to be a big player in the tablet market soon enough too. Don't know if that would give them more bargaining power with the networks/studios or not but it couldn't hurt. 2011 is going to be interesting for Google.