Feeds

Google dumps TV flop on UK

US users spat out the Chocolate box

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.