In a world where media PC’s and internet TV’s already exist, why should you care about the new Google TV? Why care about any of the other media boxes for your television like Roku or Apple TV? After all media PC’s have been around for the last 6-7 years at least, whats new about these devices? The answer is that after all this time consumers are finally ready (substitute: old enough) for high tech devices like this. Here is the bottom line from my point of view. By this time next year, Google TV and Apple TV will be the top two major players in the internet TV market. I also predict that Google will excel in this space and be the market leader over Apple by 2012.
First why should you care about Internet TV as a whole:
- Rent your shows as needed- why pay for a monthly HBO package when you can pay a 1/3rd just for the shows you actually want to see?
- Services like Amazon on Demand and Netflix offer endless movies at low prices. Again, cut off the premium services from your TV as you can now pay as you go via Internet TV.
- Take advantage of that home theater system with an integrated Pandora service and have one less device in that home theater cabinet.
- With an internet connected media box, think about the possibilities for true ‘remote’ control over the internet.
- Browse the web simultaneously as you watch TV (more on this below).
Now, sticking to my prediction above I really feel that Google TV is going to be the leader in this space. I know that Apple makes an excellent set top box, but they are going to fall short here just like they are starting to slip in the App market. Apple has such strong restrictions on their app store that developers and end users are starting to shift to the easy going Android platform.
Why Google will take first place in the Internet TV market:
- A much faster growing developer community to bring you cutting edge apps. Apple is simply falling behind here.
- Wider integration with services like Gmail, Google Docs, and You Tube that Apple just won’t be able to match.
- Device integration from the start on new hardware without the need of an extra media device. (ex: Sony TV)
- Integration with existing DVR or cable receiver systems. Limited at this point but watch for fast development and acceptance in this area.
Imagine the world where you can browse and watch TV at the same time. For example one night your watching the MTV Music Awards and a video catches your eye that you haven’t seen. It’s winning in 6 categories and looks awesome but you don’t ever really watch MTV to catch the video. Now a commercial comes on and you can simply hop over to your browser or search box and find the video on YouTube without having to move off your couch. The same goes for sports and fantasy games to follow along all game long. You can also start having instant reactions from a wide audience during sitcoms or reality shows as it’s happening. Services like Twitter will be an instant beneficiary of this added connectivity and will see usage explode during high profile television events.
I’m more excited for these product launches in the upcoming year than I have been for any products in recent memory. It’s going to be a real turning point in the Internet TV era.
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