Google dumps TV flop on UK
US users spat out the Chocolate box
Be still, beating hearts! The expensive flop that embodies Google's difficulties in working with the media industries is coming to the UK. Eric Schmidt is expected to make the announcement at the annual Edinburgh TV festival that a consumer product will launch within the next six months.
In the United States, where free-to-air television is of low quality, Google TV initially caused great excitement. But flagship US manufacturer Logitech recently scrapped the product, selling off remaining stock in a firesale.
Google's as a TV platform provider was always going to be difficult; internally executives admitted that its YouTube service was a "rogue enabler of content theft". But Google TV flopped because Google didn't really like TV in the first place, and certainly didn't understand why people watch it. The box was fundamentally a computer first, with a TV output that displays on a big screen.
As one of the (few) favourable reviews put it, Google TV is "[at heart], a text-based search engine that hasn't been conceived to deal with the complexity and massive volume of web video."
Others wondered how it was ever released by the Chocolate Factory in the first place.
"Google TV is basically unusable," Matt Millar of Tellybug told us. "Any system that requires you to move a mouse pointer around a TV screen will fail".
Just what you want on your lovely plasma TV: Web2.0rhea
"People have more than one screen in their home. TV is universally and probably for the next 20 years the single best output screen in the home and it comes with huge advantages for immersive content. And any attempts to turn it into an input device will fair utterly," says Millar, whose Tellybug product aggregates web chunterings about TV in real-time.
This Web2.0rhea, made on Twitter and social networks, is created made by people using laptops, phones or fondleslabs – the "third screen" in the jargon. That's also the approach being adopted by the startup from former iPlayer lead tech Anthony Rose, Zeebox.
"The focus should be on delivering great content. Strangely enough, FreeView is along the right lines – as are some cable operators," says Millar.
Given Google's tech heritage, we might have to wait until version 3.0 for a usable box. But for negotiating deals that keep copyright holders happy, Google is about the last name you'd come up with. ®
Slow news day..
..must be. First of all some Chicken Little nonsense from Gavin Clarke about the Linux kernel and now this - one of the longer reviews of something that doesn't exist yet i've read recently... wasn't the first paragraph sufficient ?
It may well be the same piece of crap that launched in the US - I don't know (do you ?) - but why don't we wait until someone's actually got their hands on it before giving it a similar, in-depth slating.
Unless, of course, you have some more information to share ?
US super quality broadband
"Has Google noticed that in the UK we don't have the same super quality broadband quality that is enjoyed by American's?"
I'm not sure on which planet you're living on but here on planet Earth broadband in the US is a far stretch from being 'super quality'. Unless you live in a few advantaged areas 'broadband' often means getting something less than 2Mbps, down to 384 kbps. Additionally, thanks to the telecommunications and cable tv oligopol you often don't even have a choice between providers but you're stuck paying for a 6Mbps line with 768kbpsor less real world throughput. That means if you can get any broadband service, that is. Wide parts of the country are still dependent on analogue modems.
Most Brits don't really appreciate what they have. A wide selection of broadband providers with tons of contracting options to fit most requirements is something Americans can only dream of.
Let's have decent broadband first...
Yet another piece of useless junk for us to add to our collection of things that all want to take over our broadband connection.
Has Google noticed that in the UK we don't have the same super quality broadband quality that is enjoyed by American's?
Already most places that BT calls "remote" (although I don't know how BT can believe the whole of Shropshire as "remote") are struggling with a 2mbps line, and it's a joke.
My internet connection here with Plus Net is so slow it couldn't even play a full song from Grooveshark this morning without breaking it up every 10 seconds, how's that going to cope if we add a Google TV set to the equation.
Maybe Google might do better if they set up their own cable firm in the UK and used it's money to supply super fast broadband to areas that need it, instead of investing in some crummy TV system that half of the UK can't use.