October 06, 2010, 7:40 AM — I have to admit to being pretty excited about Logitech's Google TV event today. The past few days we've seen some bits and bobs of additional info leak out, including a segment on ABC News (embedded below). Thanks to Engadget for sharing that spot; I missed it when it aired. If only I'd had Google TV to help me find Google TV on TV. (Huh?)
On Monday Google launched a new Google TV site where you can kill some time while waiting for the event to start. It's obviously heavy on the marketing-speak but gives you some ideas of the kinds of things you'll be able to do. Some of them ('Surf the web on your TV!') are kind of "meh" but others, likes apps and a version of YouTube formated for Google TV sound like they could be interesting. It now looks like the DVR functions will be limited to Dish Network users, which is a huge disappointment.
The initial roll-out of apps looks pretty good with most of the stuff you'd expect: Netflix, Amazon Video-on-Demand, Pandora, Twitter...the list goes on. You can use Twitter and watch a show at the same time via a virtual picture-in-picture feature. Hopefully that extends to other apps too. Let me stream Pandora and browse Twitter at the same time, for instance. I've embedded a second video below that shows off some of the apps. Google says they're from the Android Market which leads immediately to speculation about cross-pollination between Google TV and Android Tablets.
Some of the apps are still a puzzle to me. HBOGo is coming to Google TV, but it requires an HBO subscription. If you already have HBO wouldn't you just want to watch the crisp HD version coming over your cable network rather than a streamed version fed to you via an app? I'm not an HBO subscriber so maybe someone can clue me in. Does HBOGo offer more content (a deeper back-catalog, perhaps) than the cable systems' video-on-demand features offer?
I'm not the only one spending these last few hours pondering exactly what Google TV is, and maybe more importantly, what it is not. CrunchGear's Matt Burns has a list of The Five Remaining Google TV Questions while Chris Foresman at Ars Technica thinks that Google TV may finally get TV right in the online video age.
And of course, there's the Google Blog post from last Monday, Here comes Google TV if you prefer getting your info from the horse's mouth, so to speak. One last question I'd like to see answered: is the Logitech Revue a 'pure' implementation of Google TV, or is it enriched somehow (like via the addition of the Harmony software). Will Google TV be the same on a Sony tv as it is on a Samsung Blu-ray player or are we going to wind up with another fragmented Android market?
All will (hopefully!) be revealed later today!
Here's the ABC News clip:
And here's the Google TV apps teaser video: