Ready to experience Google’s vision for TV? Ready or not, the very first Google TV product, Logitech’s Revue, is hitting stores on September 29th for $299 if you’re going to believe the mega-blog Engadget (who’s usually right about this kind of stuff).
If you missed my previous post on the topic, Google TV hopes to bring users their “usual TV channels as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications, including rich Adobe Flash based content – all from the comfort of their own living room and with the same simplicity as browsing the web.”
In plain English, Google’s new TV platform (based on their successful Android OS) gives manufacturers a simplified way for users to browse and access web content on the TV screen. Yes, you can technically do that with a computer, but Google TV hopes to leverage a slick UI and powerful search features to make it easy. Whether or not they’ve succeeded will be proven out over time.
Yep, Google’s goal is a lofty one, and their not the first to attempt it. Many have tried (including Microsoft), but all have ultimately failed. My prediction? Not good… for now. The marriage of TV and web is inevitable, but in my opinion there’s a lot of dating left to do before we see wedlock.
One of the huge problems I see is that most don’t seem generally displeased with their current TV experience. Google TV is positioned as a “game-changer” that “reinvents” TV. It’s going to take time to sell to consumers on the concept (ads like this one don’t really help either), and convince them TV needed to be reinvented.
I won’t rail on them too much on what the actual experience is like before I get more opportunity to go hands-on, but I fear the initial rumored price will be enough to turn off many early adopters. Uber geeks like me, typical early adopters of new technologies, already have PCs connected to our TV to get access to the web and won’t make a $300 investment with little to gain. Regular folks with pokey DSL lines are happy with Redbox, and probably have little need for ‘interweb’ content as a whole. If anything, they may find Apple’s “non-game changing” TV box more attractive. That leaves a pretty thin audience for Logitech’s stand alone Google TV box right now.
I’m not saying Google TV is dead before it starts, but I don’t foresee much success until its integrated into TVs and other devices people are buying for other reasons, the price falls for external boxes, or Google makes cute kitty videos on YouTube exclusive to Google TV boxes.
There is a little bit of good news for Dish Network subscribers though, who can supposedly pick one up through the satellite giant at a heavily discounted price of $179. That makes me wonder, though – Dish rarely sells anything on the cheap. So, watch the fine print. You may by getting one at a $129 discount, but in return you have to commit to 5 years of Dish service, sell your soul to Charlie Ergen, or hand over the life of your first born son. Knowing Dish, probably all of the above.
Are you excited about the Logitech Revue? Do you plan on picking one up launch day? What price do you think is the “right price?”
Satisfy your inner geek while fueling your TV addiction… TV Tech Fix is a column by Matt Whitlock, editor of the TechLore.com Consumer Electronics Community (plus several other gadget-focused community websites), and lover of both technology and TV. In this column, he’ll cover a wide variety of tech topics aimed squarely at the TV addicts of the world – from tips and tricks to help you better your TV experience, to gear recommendations, to the impact technology is having on the TV shows we love.