Feeds

Google dumps TV flop on UK

US users spat out the Chocolate box

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.