Stumbled across some news about Flash support on Google TV, but not knowing much about Google TV other than that it will kick ass I figured I’d read up on it and break it down for you. You’ve probably heard of Apple TV, maybe you’ve seen it in action, maybe you think Google TV is basically Apple TV plus more advertisements. Think again tough guy.

I’d better start by saying that Apple TV is available now, one edge over Google TV, a big one but the only one I’m seeing. That may change imminently so be cool baby.  Apple TV comes on a set-top piece of Apple hardware, like a Nintendo, but less badass. Google TV will be like that too with boxes initially made by Logitec, though also incorporated directly into Blu-ray players and televisions by Sony and probably others down the line. If you don’t like my writing style, listen to this Google guy at the Google I/O thing, the Google TV Keynote schpeel below (watch this, I’mma embed a video this time):

It will be Android. That’s what it is now, software being developed, with some other companies cooking up the chips to fuel that 1080p of goodness. In addition to what you can do on Apple TV, like watch Youtube, you may browse the web (Chrome), it will support Flash, Netflix, Hulu and pump out 1080p, the whole nine. Depending on the hardware, not Google’s department this time, it may incorporate DVR too. With it you’d be less glued to your desk, being able to get entertained by the Internet and screw around much as you do on your computer but in the den. And you’d be less glued to your cable provider. Wondering about when this will hit? Sony says they’ll be unleashing Google TV both embedded in new sets and in separate devices this fall, Septemberish. Incidentally that’s also when I’ve agreed with my fiancée to quit a certain nasty habit cold turkey, so I’m hoping Google will serve as an adequate displacement to that vice because this Nicorette stuff really messes up my stomach and I think I’ve built up a tolerance to Imodium.

This is a big step in the direction many of you are trying to head, being able to stop paying for cable, which would be even more feasible if Youtube streams live video a lot more than they have been, a direction toward which they’ve been accelerating. Worth noting that there are already bittorrent clients for Android on the market, no rooting or sideloading needed, plus with the wifi you may be able to mount your computer’s shared stuff over SMB. so even if there aren’t hard drives on these things you can use a remote torrent client to fire up downloads on your machine and then watch them on this thing, something I can do right now with my Android phone. In other words, yes, relax, there will be porn.

As with the phones expect to see many OEMs jumping on Google TV which means you’ll get a variety of hardware from which to choose, not a one-size-fits-all deal. Though you cannot yet watch Google TV, once it hits, just watch how fast it explodes onto the scene, as sure as you were born. Note that there are four billion television watchers wordwide, Americans on average spend five hours a day in front of the tube (number that has actually been growing). Google: “For a developers, there is no bigger market than the television market… We need to find away to bring the entire Internet to the television. Closed: Once the user experiences the freedom [of openness], they’re not going back.”

Google aiming to make this thing so sweet that people won’t want to hit the Source button on their remotes to jump back to television, something my family for example can’t seem to figure out without calling me all the damn time. C’mon Dad you went to Harvard and MIT at which you also taught and you can’t figure out a damn television remote? And you broke my balls growing up for bad grades? So I never mastered the quadratic equation in the fourth grade or got down all my Latin declensions, opting instead to learn how to hack. Which one of us reassigned your volume buttons to control the cable box and not the TV? Guess a PhD or two is essentially just an indicator of how much time you are determined to waste during your youth studying a bunch of poppycock instead of having all sorts of fun. I’m just relieved you managed to put the books down long enough to meet Mom.

But I digress.

Access to iTunes with Google TV? Probably not, but in my book that’s a good thing, helping to open up open alternatives like how Apple is trying to leverage the world onto HTML5, a war they will not win even though I personally wish they would. It’s also a good thing not to have iTunes as your only source of media or what you can do with these devices. Google: “Users shouldn’t have to choose between TV or the web – they can have both.” Right on Google, keep it coming baby.

Doug Simmons

1 COMMENT

  1. Web on a tv is cool…a lot of this is a price point thing. Also, if things like Hulu go to a paid service then all I’ve done is change one paid provider to another one…
    and if the price is too high then one of those little Dell Zino things makes more sense – full Windows on a little hdmi out box that’ll link up to your current PC as a media extender with a wireless keyboard/mouse and I think those are $250 (http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspiron-zino-hd?c=us&l=en&s=dhs)
    wow I think I just sold myself on a Zino…

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