Google, Google TV and the internets

I’ve been very disappointed with the internet. I hate to talk about the good old days, but I remember when I would occasionally find a really nerdy & interesting website. It would normally be hidden in page 3 of a hotbot search. It would feature horrible color choices, grainy small photos and a lot of passion.

Nowadays, that kind of website has passed. Sure, there are a few interesting blog posts that get passed around, but it’s rare that someone creates their own website on their own terms. Moreover, those sites tend to be buried so deep on Google as to be non-existant. Instead, I get 1249 websites that are either like Amazon or Ebay, trying to sell me something. The net is now everything I was trying to escape from the real world.

That brings me to Google TV. Already, I hate TV because of the moronic adverts and even worse programs. Now Google wants to integrate their flawed search engine onto my TV. Why?

If we really want to take these crusty old mediums, like TV, and inspire people, we need to get away from the model of advertising at all cost. I think that’s why iTunes has succeeded. Sure…today it has fallen down to advertising Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga on the front page, but when I flip to my catalogue, I am confronted with a simple list of stuff I like.

I don’t know if Apple TV is going to be like that, but if it is, it will be the eventual winner.

The Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas was meant to be the great coming-out party for Google’s new software for televisions, which adds Web video and other computer smarts to TV sets. Although Google already has a deal with Sony for its Internet TVs, other television makers — Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp — were prepared to flaunt their versions of the systems.

But Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard. And it illustrates the struggles Google faces as it tries to expand into the tricky, unfamiliar realm of consumer electronics, and drum up broad interest in a Web-based TV product that consumers want.

This much is clear: Google TV may be interesting to technophiles, but it’s not for average people. On the great timeline of television history, Google TV takes an enormous step in the wrong direction: toward complexity.

Most people, he said, would rather “just stream Steve Jobs’ authorized movies” than connect to an open public space that would almost certainly become demonized as a haven for terrorism and lawlessness.
“If we want to have a true peer-to-peer network, we now understand what it might look like,” Rushkoff said. “If you want to have something real, we’ve got to build it from scratch.”

IMO Apple TV and Google TV are both going to be looked back on in 3 years as devices that never really fit anywhere. They’re super niche devices which really don’t extend a large value proposition to most people.

Right now there is a large disconnect between who provides what: in terms of both functionality and content. What do you get from your cable company? What do you get from the internet? What do you get from your Television itself? What about ancillary devices like the DVR or Playstation?

You have TV’s that are now building in various web based services, you have websites like Hulu which are providing TV content (with 1/8th the commercials), and you have cable companies gouging everyone on prices for hundreds of channels of content which people DON’T want.

The ideal solution is really pointing to the “on demand” model. If I only want to watch 5 shows on TV it would be great if I only had to pay for those 5 shows. There are a lot more targeted opportunities for advertising with this method as well. With a typical TV show Ad’s are focused at whoever the core demographic is for the show. With web based delivery you could pull in all kinds of other information (big brother is watching) to target ad’s very carefully. It would also be great if these devices were bundled as part of the cable box model

It’s a terrible model right now, and if someone actually cracks it it would be wonderful. The model for how the cable companies interact with the internet right now SUCKS. It’s enfuriating to think that because of regional contracts I can’t watch a certain football game on TV, or that I can’t access certain websites because my internet provider is company A and the website blocks everyone but company B.

I think there’s a few issues. Is there anything good? Can I actually find the good stuff? Once I find it, how do I watch-read-listen etc to it? Who do I pay?

I think the next 1-2 years will bring a LOT of convergence in terms of content delivery method. There’s just too much overlap right now. On Demand style access will also probably become more and more prevalent and preferred, especially as 4th gen networks become more robust. In the end, the winner will be whoever can offer the most content on the most displays, ie phone, tablet, computer, TV.

Can we expect that Google will turn on the television, select the programming, and appropriate advertising, when it predicts that we want to be entertained? And will it allow us to “mute” the commercials?

I agree with that whole “advertising at any costs” thing, it’s completely destroyed everything as far as I’m concerned. I have to use adblock on my web browser, don’t listen to radio any more because of it, don’t watch live tv anymore because of it (I only watch downloads now), it’s just really beyond annoying. Anything that attempts to be shoved down my throat, they’ve just guaranteed that I will never buy it.

Anything that attempts to be shoved down my throat, they’ve just guaranteed that I will never buy it.

I really don’t know why they don’t comprehend this … . :unamused:

Not like the über-creepy Spotify trick that knows when you’ve turned your volume down and pauses the ad. First time that happened to me I got the heebie-jeebies and switched back to Grooveshark in a quick sec.

I haven’t gotten a real in-depth look at Google TV, but it’s almost like it’s in the ‘too-good-it’s-probably-not-true’ category of things. K.i.s.s.

I don’t agree with any of that. Not everyone can afford to pay for good programming and they shouldn’t be denied access. Advertisers fill the gap. So does public television. I spent most of my life watching commercials and telethons for the privilege of free over-the-air programming.

If you want good programs, these new devices (Google, AppleTV) now let you search for and download them. If you don’t want ads, you can pay to rent or own. If you don’t want to pay, you can watch them on TV (with ads) or YouTube (without, at least for now on AppleTV–I can’t speak for the Google box.) As for me, I use a DVR and zap the ads, and occasionally rent from AppleTV or my cable.

These things are all about providing you with choices on how you want to consume content, and that’s a good thing.

I also think we have the most inspiring TV programs on right now. I love the Food Network, Discovery/Science/History channels. And I happily pay for my HBO original drama.

And of course there is always to option of “not”. Not consuming; no cell phones, no cable or pay-per-view, no i-Tunes, no internet service, no . … .

“Entertainment” isn’t a necessity (even though many think it is). “Amusement” may be, but that we can provide for ourselves.