#google tv

Brian X. Chen looks a bit into Apple University:

In “What Makes Apple, Apple,” another course that Mr. Nelson occasionally teaches, he showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV, said an employee who took the class last year. The remote has 78 buttons. Then, the employee said, Mr. Nelson displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.

How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, Mr. Nelson explained, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu.

The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons, Mr. Nelson said, because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed.

Ah yes, I remember that remote well. And another great argument for the VP of Devil’s Advocacy

Also, humorous timing of this given my own rant about remotes. (I still personally find the current Apple TV remote too simplistic. It’s nearly impossible to “type” with. But if it added voice input…)

Tom Warren for The Verge:

The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft’s console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box. We’re told that this is a key part of the next-generation Xbox and that it will go a step further than Google’s TV implementation thanks to Microsoft’s partnerships with content providers. Extended support for various cable services will be rolled out gradually, but the basic functionality will be available at launch.

While Google TV obviously went nowhere, I view this as a smart play by Microsoft. The content partnerships are key. Let’s hope they can get all of them in place.

On the other hand:

Coupled with this TV functionality, Microsoft’s next-generation Kinect sensor will also play a role in the company’s TV focus. The Verge has learned that the next Kinect will detect multiple people simultaneously, including the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer turns their head away from a TV. 

I really don’t understand this functionality. It sounds like a stupid novelty in the new Samsung Galaxy phone, and I think it’s worse here. Given how many people now “watch” TV with a second screen, is it going to pause every three seconds?

Dan Seifert for The Verge:

Earlier reports from The Wall Street Journal claimed that Google stood to make between $1.5b and $2.5b from the sale of Motorola Home, but now the company may be having to provide financing options to prospective buyers just to offload the thing.

LOL. The hits just keep coming for the most awesome $12.5 billion (which is actually more than $13 billion now and still rising) deal ever.

Remember when people were trying to argue that part of why this deal made “sense” was the set-top box business? Whoopsidaisies.

Speaking of Google TV at CES, Janko Roettgers of NewTeeVee noticed a potential problem other than being underwhelmed:

But as Google is paving the way to take the platform mainstream, a new, potentially powerful competitor is starting to emerge. No, it’s not Apple’s long-rumored TV set but Google’s own open-source Android operating system, which is used by CE manufacturers and pay-TV operators alike to introduce new devices and services that come with Android apps but without Google’s blessing.

Lenovo introduced the first TV using Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s a completely custom build — meaning no Google apps and no Android Market. Yes, the Kindle Fire model.

Maybe Eric Schmidt isn’t so crazy after all. Maybe Android will be running on “the majority” of televisions soon — but maybe these builds won’t look like Android at all and will have nothing to do with Google. 

Actually, the six month claim is still crazy.

Ryan Lawler of NewTeeVee:

In a blog post last Thursday, Google talked up new partnerships with device manufacturers LG and Samsung, as well as an extension of its announced deals with Sony and Vizio. It also reported new partnerships with chip providers Marvell and MediaTek, which would give the operating system support among a wider range of devices. For those who’ve been waiting patiently for Google TV to finally “take off,” those deals were seen as validation that maybe Eric Schmidt wasn’t crazy when he said that by next summer “the majority of the televisions you see in stores” will have Google TV installed.

But the reality of what was actually shown at CES doesn’t match the spin.

Let’s give Google some credit, they still have four and a half months to get Google TV on a million percent of televisions sold while at the same time winning over fourteen thousand percent of mobile app developers to Android and releasing a solid steel iPad-killing Nexus tablet that will descend from heaven and actually cost negative dollars.

It’s all coming. Just you wait.


I seem to recall all the bigwigs of the companies launching Google TV products going on and on about how great it would be. The future was here. It was just a year ago. 

I recall having other thoughts.

I actually had a Revue here at my apartment. A demo unit. It was never been taken out of the box. Not once. Not even to try it out. I don’t mean that to be snarky. It’s just the truth. And it says a lot.

Darren Murph:

It should probably be noted that wasn’t about returns from end users, which the company claims “have averaged at levels comparable to other Logitech products”, but from the distributors and retailers it sells most of its hardware to.

Oh, okay, that’s much better. It’s not users returning the devices in massive numbers, but perhaps only because they were never buying them in the first place. 

Instead, the distributors and retailers beat them to the punch.