I Want My Google TV

This is one of those blog posts that represent my personal opinion, not the view of Dell overall. 

Like a lot of geeky types out there, I’ve been looking forward to Internet and TV "convergence" for years. That’s one reason that I got excited when Google unveiled the concept of Google TV to the world. Sure, merging the two mediums has been tried several times before, but I think video quality on the web is much closer to the quality we’re used to getting from cable or satellite providers.

Update: A little birdie told me that Google uploaded a new video that shows more of the capabilities we can expect from Google TV:

For those that aren’t familiar with Google TV, it’s basically a mix between Intel’s CE 4100 system on a chip—a new chip based on their Atom architecture, the Android OS and a Chrome browser customized for a television. Besides Intel, they’ve lined up some pretty heavy hitters like Sony, DISH Network and others.

Since official details of Google TV were released, there’s been a renewed interest in Apple’s next move. There’s speculation from Engadget. And Tech Crunch’s MG Siegler predicts that a big fight between Apple and Google on the TV front will be a good thing for consumers. I definitely agree.  I also agree with Louis Gray on the topic of Apple TV compared to Google TV. Google has a chance to move things forward here.

Folks that read my blog posts know that I am a hardware and technology geek. That means I try out all kinds of hardware as a user. At home, I have an Xbox 360, a Wii and an Apple TV. A DirecTV DVR is my television source. Besides using my Xbox 360 to for DVD playback,  I use it mainly as a Media Center extender. I’ve also used it to stream Netflix into the living room. Love the experience on the Xbox 360, but don’t like the fact that I have to pay for an Xbox Live subscription for the privilege. That’s why I recently set up the Wii for Netflix streaming. The problem there, is no HD—it’s all standard definition through the Wii. Then there’s the Apple TV. I found three uses for it: 1) Playing back protected iTunes music in the living room, renting movies and watching movie trailers. None of those three tasks have anything to do with TV. In it’s current form at least, Apple hasn’t done much more than tie living room hardware to iTunes.

To me, TV is still a vital part of the equation. And that’s where I think Google is getting it right. As I mentioned before, DISH Network is one of Google’s initial partners. If they integrate Google TV into an updated VIP 922 DVR, I think they’re onto something. Even before Google TV, that’s a pretty powerful box. Satellite HD programming, a nice-looking HD GUI, DVR with a 1TB drive, and Sling capability. Add all the things that the web brings, like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube and more, plus access to my full library of MP3 files, you’ve got the best shot at convergence that I’ve ever seen. And for folks that are complaining about not wanting a keyboard and/ or mouse in the living room, that where an Android phone or a Dell Streak with the remote app comes in–kinda like Apple’s iPhone remote app. 

Sure, I know Google’s got more work to do here. But, looking at the Rishi Chandra’s demo, I think Google’s approaching it the right way. Not surprising given they are a search company…  I bet they’ll do a good job of displaying aggregated search results from TV and the web. It will be interesting to see how this evolves. Guess we’ll know more when the Google TV hardware starts to appear in the Fall in the form of Sony TVs, a DISH Network box, Logitech’s set top box and more. 

Google TV can’t get here fast enough for someone like me.  Would love to hear your thoughts below.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca