Australian Google nerds, have you heard about Google TV?

Well I hadn’t up until a few weeks ago…did I miss the hype?  Whilst researching the new era of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) and Internet TV I stumbled across a reference to Google TV.  IPTV set-top boxes and Internet Video such as YouTube, Fetch, TIVOIINET and I-Q Foxtel have been in market for several years, but 3D/HD TV models featuring Internet video access, special Internet TV remotes and downloadable net TV apps are a fresh 2011 release in Australia.  So there is Internet TV or Smart TV,  but what is Google TV?

After seeing the words ‘Google‘ and ‘TV‘ promisingly co-joined I was immediately curious to know more, not only about the product but primarily regarding it’s release in Australia. How as a regular Googler and online newsreader, could I miss declaration of a surely massive product launch?  Eager for insight I began with a Google search using the phrase ‘Google TV‘ to check SEO results or relevant news reports. The search returned good results with the Google TV website ranked top of the search engine, a mass 5,940,000 results appearing in 0.06 seconds.  A rank to be expected for a product released by the infamous #1 search engine.  Other related product links and several old (mainly 2010) articles pertaining to the product’s release were also ranked above the fold.

Sony Internet TV (Google TV)The new generation of ‘Google search’ television was launched in the USA in October 2010, however a launch in Australia was announced on hold. In collaboration with Sony the product was released via Sony Internet TV (the first and currently only HD TV offering the software), the Sony Internet TV Blu-ray player and in addition a set-top box release of Google TV through Logitech Revue. The new search technology powering Google TV indexes TV content and applications, basically any data generated within the context of the service. Users can search for Web and TV programs,  access their digital video recordings from a keyboard controller, a special remote, or mobile phone applications from Logitech, Google and Samsung,  download Google Android apps and record digital content.

So perhaps I was not an avid news reader around October 2010 and missed the hype…

Fast forward though to April 2011 – why have we still not heard of a product release in Australia?  Lukewarm reviews in the US by consumers, technological peers and the media since the launch have affected the popularity of the product.

SlashGear, a technology review website recently posted the article How can Google save Google TV announcing, “Google TV is in dire need of some retuning”.

The review notes the US product set-top box was too expensive in comparison to Apple TV, had a clunky search keyboard and needed a hardware and software overhaul to increase product uptake. E-week another tech site (plus several other online reviews) posted similar sentiment in Dec 2010 on why Google TV is failing: 10 Reasons Why

One of the first ten reasons aptly stated:

1. Where’s the excitement?

When Google TV was first announced there was palpable excitement around the United States about the potential the software offered…But now that Google TV devices are on store shelves, all that excitement seems to have dissipated, causing some to wonder if it’s actually falling flat” (E-week)

2. The Apple TV influence

3. Consumers know the features aren’t there

4. The apps haven’t arrived

5. Content is king

6. The studios aren’t happy

Major broadcast companies in the US such as ABC, CBC and NBC were loath to embrace the service and blocked content from Google TV view.  Google is currently in negotiations with major broadcast companies for advertising rights in the US/UK, and would likely negotiate with Australian broadcasters before entering the market.  A plus for Australia if it does attract Google TV is the new national broadband network, which Euromonitor International claims ‘will increase uptake of entertainment services such as IPTV (Internet protocol television) and Internet video, which will in turn create business opportunities for media and advertising companies.’ (Euromonitor International, August 2010)

7. There might be truth in the rumors

Until Google confirms that it’s asking vendors to halt development on their Google TV products, there’s no telling what’s really going on.” (E-week)

8. Google hasn’t been so quick to gloat

9. Progress has been slow

10. Are consumers ready?

The content-streaming market, while growing rapidly, is still in its infancy…Over time, the Google TV platform could be quite worthwhile, but now the question of whether or not it’s ahead of its time must be asked.” (E-week)

Ten interesting points noted in the E-Week article.  If Google TV does save itself with product improvements, a release in Australia must educate the market of its capabilities and increase market awareness. Harris Buzz, a Harris Interactive poll survey launched results of consumer awareness of  Apple TV and Google TV products in December 2010. Harris Interactive poll survey

Steve Evens, head of research at Harris Interactive UK indicates one of the issues facing a wider adoption of living room media streaming is awareness and understanding. He suggests that if Apple TV or Google TV are to become mainstream living room technologies and not just for the early adopters then there is a long way to go to educate the market on their products and their benefits.

If you are ahead of the game and have news of a 2011 Australian Google TV release,  please feel free to COMMENT.




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REFERENCES

Apcmag.com, 23rd March 2011, “The real future of TV: How IPTV works”, viewed 16th April 2011, http://apcmag.com/the-real-future-of-tv-how-iptv-works.htm

Cnet.com.au, ” Online TV: how IPTV changes everything”, 18th October 2010, viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.cnet.com.au/online-tv-how-iptv-changes-everything-339306637.htm

Cnet.com.au,  “Smart TV killed the ‘idiot box’: Samsung”, 6th April 2011, viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.cnet.com.au/smart-tv-killed-the-idiot-box-samsung-339312752.htm

Euromonitor International, August 2010, Technology, Communications and Media poised to take off in Australia, http://www.euromonitor.com, viewed 16th April 2011

eWeek , Dec 27th 2010, “Google TV Is Failing 10 Reasons Why”, viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/Google-TV-Is-Failing-10-Reasons-Why-311306/

Google TV website , viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.googletv.com

Slashgear website, 5th April 2011, viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.slashgear.com/how-google-can-save-google-tv-05144401

Sony website, viewed 16th April 2011, http://www.sony.com

Tech Media Now website, 26 January 2011, Blog: Apple TV & Google TV research – awareness holding back adoption, viewed 16th April 2011, http://techmedianow.blogspot.com/2011/01/apple-tv-google-tv-research-awareness.html

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5 Comments on “Australian Google nerds, have you heard about Google TV?”

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  2. […] Internet TV will be a BIG player in the future of online advertising.  Check out a blog I wrote on Google TV.  It is still in it’s infancy in the US, but after some much needed product improvements I […]

  3. […] wrote a blog on Google TV recently and it’s impending release in Australia (was launched in US last year).  Looking at […]

  4. d8blog says:

    If you are ahead of the game and have news of a 2011 Australian Google TV release, please feel free to comment.


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