There’s been a somewhat unnecessary battle that’s been going on between the Internet and mainstream media, and I never quite understood why. The ultimate solution would eventually take effect–the two seemingly separate industries would merge into one. There was no reason for the television to feel threatened by the TV screen, and there was no reason for broadcasters and content producers to feel threatened by YouTube. Because now we have Google TV.
Well, we don’t really have it yet, though some speculate that Google will reveal its revolutionary media platform sometime this week. And until then, there’s no real way to know whether or not Google can become the olive branch that unites the web with our home entertainment systems. But we can hope. That’s what a lot of us are doing, some even hailing Google TV as the single most significant change in the television industry since color.
That’s a rather grand statement, but it could become proper. On-demand content, personalized applications and an overall uniting of our regular media behavior welcomes the television into the content-sharing era. Empowering the TV to better participate with the growing realm of social networks, media-sharing and overall life management, Google TV may just be the extreme push we needed.
It’s because of Google TV’s delivery method that its expectations are set so high. Partnering directly with television manufacturer Sony, as well as chip-maker Intel, Google TV will be available through the television sets and set top boxes. You’ll have an additional point of access for certain apps like Facebook or YouTube. The introduction of applications has enabled a sensible way for the Internet to integrate with television sets. This all makes Google look pretty good.
Should Google TV do everything we expect it to do, it will make Google the company that successfully overcame the obstacles of incorporating home television into the personalized electronics trend. The Android platform and its supported apps have created a cozy way for us to get the web on your TV. It would also be a good boost for the television industry.
There have been all sorts of gimicky-tactics applied to marketing in the television industry, from 3D to marginal changes in color brightness. The increased competition for the television industry has driven manufacturers to constantly update their devices in order to attract consumers in a sometimes volatile market. That’s not to say that Google TV will be any less gimicky, but it is expected to help draw in consumers.
The reason it may actually work? Apps have a practical function associated with each one, opening a wealth of personalization options around the way in which your television is used. Instead of paying extra for a 3D screen that will only work with the special glasses and a handful of movies, why not get the television that can run YouTube, Pandora, Skype, Facebook, live poker games, morning news, on-demand programming and your evening jog route?
Sony hasn’t seen the best performance in its electronics department sales, with losses in the last quarter. Teaming with Google TV could be Sony’s way of boosting consumer interest in the company’s products. Other manufacturers, however, may be using Google TV as a way to stay on top. Samsung, which recently announced plans to double spending on factory build outs, may also be considering a partnership with Google’s TV platform.
And while Google may have found a way to bring the technology to the masses, the concept of this type of TV platform has been around for quite some time. Several set top boxes, including the likes of Apple, Boxee and Sling Media, have been creating a better way for us to interact with our content. And game consoles from television makers have also marked their entry into the TV-web portal.
Panasonic already has Viera Cast, its own IPTV solution for its high-end Viera line of televisions. It’s brought apps like Pandora, Amazon, Netflix, Picasa, Bloomberg, Twitter and now Skype, to your TV screen. This is another approach for those in the television industry to consider all together, as many device manufacturers seek ways to leverage their own or someone else’s mobile app platform as a revenue stream.
No matter which way you slice it, the success of Google TV could bring about the expedition of the television industry into the business of data. Whether it’s streaming, uploading, downloading or being re-purposed amongst the many apps that bring you personalized recommendations, Google TV could really open the door for more monetization of all that data sharing.