The biggest reason why TVs don’t run the real web is that the necessary hardware is too expensive for the razor-thin margins in consumer electronics. For GoogleTV to succeed it must convince consumers to pay a price for TVs that can support a PC inside. A PC *alone* is at least a couple hundred bucks. A Roku is down within a price range that consumers will accept, less than $100, but it doesn’t have the muscle to run GoogleTV.
5 thoughts on “GoogleTV”
People are spending a *lot* on TVs these days as they upgrade to bigger screens, and the TVs already have a fair bit of computing power and electronics infrastructure (already four years ago my TV was running a linux kernel internally, and was also already consuming so much power and generating so much heat that it had a fan, big power brick, etc.) So it is going to cost < $100, and with many reasonably mainstream TVs these days in the $1500-$2000 range, that may not matter that much.
Now, whether or not people actually want web on their TV is a different question…
I don’t think users much want the 90s and 20x0s browser web on the TV. I do think they want apps built from web technologies like HTML5. It’s just such an effective way of building software.
Don’t kid yourself on cost, though. The iPhone was only a revolution for a small number of people. TV is a much more broad based technology, and it’s dominated by the people who can’t afford a smartphone.
Digital DIYers are already using IPTV. What it will take for tweens and grandmoms is a different story.
Our television came with limited apps for youtube and amazon direct-movie-rental. I’d be delighted it if offered a set of apps with a broader movie/tv/concert rental channel, youtube, hulu, twitter, vimeo, blip.tv, and
perhaps an open source/indie channel.
I don’t think that the immediate future is a personal computer embedded in the TV, though I think that’s coming. I think the immediate future is in a great device that will, in the miracle ways of radio shack in the old days, hook a cheap computer into one’s TV seamlessly so that one can just pick up a keyboard and use the TV as a monitor to get this other content. The technology is completely in place already–a TB hard drive loaded with half a TB of content, a keyboard hitched wirelessly to work with the computer through the device, the wires for easy plug n play, and not much else. As it stands now, anyone could hook their PC or mac into their TV, but the basic radio-shack-obstacles make it a hassle. But it should be easy and seamless and come in a simple 100 dollar product.
I think the “browser on the TV” approach Google seems to be taking is gonna suck. I don’t want a browser on my TV. The second screen approach (iPhone/tablet/netbook with you on the sofa) works better for checking email/browsing while watching tv.
I agree with Lucas, I want apps on my tv. But the UI has to be TV-UI, leanback. They should build some kind of html5 television UX standards that I could then easily build apps on. The TV UI would be quite different from the regular web UI.
Or I may be wrong there.