We all love the Internet, this is a great place to pass time when dealing with those mundane tasks of seemingly boring life inside a cubicle. But before the Internet, there was the Television (TV). But of late, the TV too, seems mundane as we sit on the couch and change channels one by one like mindless Zombies. Watching video online was much more fun. Then back in May, someone at Google, the Internet search giant, came up with an incredibly original idea of combining the Web and the TV, and named it, the Google TV!
To the un-initiated, Google TV is a service from the stables of Greedy Internet giant, Google. It usually comes pre-installed on high end Television screens from the likes of Sony; alternatively, older compatible TVs can be paired up with Google TV set-top boxes from Logitech Revue for about $300 or the Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player for about $400. This service acts pretty much like a D/VCR, but with the added power of the web in your living room.
With the Google TV, you are given the ability to seamlessly combine everything from the web and possibly everything your TV channels broadcasts. In simpler terms, its like having the power of Google search engine right inside your TVs and are able to sort through all your favorite programs in an instant, just as you would when searching for something online. Your TV can now browse the Internet, install and try a host of applications like Twitter, Napster, Facebook and more! It even lets you use your smartphone as a fully fledged remote to control your TV sets as you lazily wind up on your bean bag. Your favorite or frequently viewed TV channels get organized on a 9-grid homepage screen just like the ones you see on Google chrome browser. It can also pull content from your computers’ movie dump apart from queuing videos from services like Youtube. For those with a DISH network subscription, you can even let the intelligent scheduler record your shows that you might have missed in favor of that important meeting! This is something for someone who watches a lot of videos online. Bottom line – soap entertainment meets the search engine!
Google TV is still teething to realize its full potential. Spending the additional moolah just to be able to search instantly through TV programs and to record shows at scheduled intervals doesn’t seem justified. If you have a laptop with a Video-Out function, I’m pretty sure, the inbuilt media-centre software that you get as free downloads are more than capable of doing everything the Google TV does, and a bit more too. It’ll be a while since Google TV catches up with the mojo around alternate AV entertainment.
As a final note, Google TV does seem to have a definite advantage over the Apple TV, in-terms of quality and depth of content. Only the future shall reveal if the Google TV is a Knight in shining armor for the near extinct Television phenomenon.