The next big thing coming for Google may also be the next big thing for television as we know it. Back in the spring, Google announced that they were developing Google TV—a digital box that would work with your cable, satellite and Internet to bring you a richer, more intuitive multimedia experience. Google TV is not a service, rather, it’s a device that brings the best of the Web, TV and your own digital media collections all into one place. This, of course, isn’t the first attempt at marrying TV with the Web. But now may just be the perfect time for Google TV to come to the market. Here’s why:
Americans Are Watching More Shows Online Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon on Demand, YouTube, Veoh—the list of places where you can watch TV on demand and/or for free are growing every day. And while there are many gaming devices and web-enabled TVs that allow you to access these hubs from your television, the majority of online TV watchers consume their media via a smartphone, laptop or desktop. And as Google argues, it makes no sense to watch the best shows on Earth on speakers and monitors that aren’t built for it. While we watch our streaming Netflix via our iPhones and our independent documentaries via our netbooks, our widescreen, LED, high definition TVs with Dolby surround sound are going to waste. Google TV will put an end to that and bring your top notch hardware back in line with your favorite shows, movies and music.
There Will Be Apps
The app is all the rage. The app has transformed the cell phone from a communication device to much, much more. From games and timewasters to full-fledged productivity suites and multi-track recording studios, apps unlock the full potential of our handheld technology. And because Google TV has apps, you can expect the same limitless possibilities for your TV. The old familiars, such as Napster, Twitter, MySpace, Pandora and Amazon are already on board, and Google TV has put out a call for more developers to pitch in to make the Google TV experience amazing and diverse.
Search is Ready for Television
We as a society are far too advanced for channel surfing. Even scrolling through the on-screen guide with digital cable or satellite is growing a bit tedious, especially when we know that there is a better way. Google TV brings what it’s best at to the table and allows universal searches across the web, your TV channels and apps so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a snap.
Of course, Google TV isn’t a shoe in for invention of the century. There have been others that have gone before it—such as Apple TV—and others that do similar tasks—such as the Wii, Playstion 3 and X-Box 360. The challenge that Google TV faces is replacing the way that we engage all of our different forms of media. Google TV has to be easy enough, affordable enough and fun enough to get people to use it as automatically as we pick up the TV remote. Otherwise, wired consumers will continue flipping through their digital cable with their tablet or netbook on their lap, their smartphone in their hand and their MP3 player in their pockets.