Google introduces Android-powered Apple TV competitor

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Google on Thursday announced Google TV, a new platform that aims to integrate both Web browsing and cable TV with one device running its Android operating system, set to arrive this fall.



As with Android smartphones, Google TV hardware will not be made by the search giant. Instead, hardware partners and HDTV makers will create devices that will run Google's operating system.



Google said that TV today is too complicated, with too many channels and a poor interface for finding the shows you want to see. They said many people these days end up watching videos on the Web, because it's much easier to find what you're looking for and watch it on your own schedule.



"The problem is, these smaller screens don't compare to our home entertainment system," the company says in a promotional video introducing Google TV.



The new service will come integrated into some HDTVs, while other users can buy Google TV through a separate set-top-box. Using an on-screen Google search box, users can type in what they are looking for and find it, either on the Web or through their cable TV.



"It's basically an entertainment hub that searches all of your channels, recorded shows, YouTube, and other websites," the video says.



Google TV will feature a home screen where users can quickly access their favorite locations, whether they're cable channels, YouTube channels, websites, or anything else on TV or on the Web.



Google TV also features the full Chrome Web browser, and has access to the Android Market, so users can download unique applications to run from their HDTV in the living room.



All devices running Google TV must have Wi-Fi and Ethernet built in. It offers integration with an existing cable or satellite set top box using HDMI, and comes with an infrared blaster to control them. Google TV hardware will also include a dedicated GPU, surround sound, a keyboard, and a pointing device.







Google TV represents yet another market in which the company will compete with Apple, maker of the Apple TV. Last summer, as both companies continued to enter the same markets, Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple Board of Directors as an investigation from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was looking into the connections between the two companies.



Schmidt's move was seen as necessary as Google and Apple now compete in numerous markets in the technology sector: Google's Android mobile operating system competes with Apple's iPhone; both companies recently made large mobile advertising acquisitions; Google's forthcoming Chrome OS will see the company enter the traditional PC space; and the Chrome browser competes with Apple's Safari.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 285
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    I, for one, welcome our new Google pr0n overlords!



    *Awaiting the Google Borg assimilation of Apple*
  • Reply 2 of 285
    mistergsfmistergsf Posts: 158member
    I really don't want or need Google on my HDTV and home theater.
  • Reply 3 of 285
    sofabuttsofabutt Posts: 99member
    Finally Apple has some competition in this area. Hopefully it will stimulate some upgrades and enhancements to the Apple TV product.
  • Reply 4 of 285
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Wow, they really were being evil.



    Talk about Single Google Female...
  • Reply 5 of 285
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    It searches your cable stations? I have EyeTV and it can't find info from encrypted tv channels on TWC. I wonder if the cable companies are going to welcome this.
  • Reply 6 of 285
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Wow, they really were being Evil...



    And creepy. 'Apple, I want to be your frieeeend. Look, I'm wearing the same clothes as you..'



    Bet the new Google staff uniform is black poloneck and blue jeans...
  • Reply 7 of 285
    so we're not getting a google ipod product? quick google, you still have that to copy from apple
  • Reply 8 of 285
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    As an Apple TV owner I can tell you this looks like it will blow apple TV away. I still don't understand the lack of browser support on the apple tv.



    If they don't take Apple TV out of hobby status ... they might as well shut it down.
  • Reply 9 of 285
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Wow. what a bunch of losers. sit on Apple board, steal ideas, then leave and directly compete with knockoff products.



    Google sucks.



    And honestly, who needs google for anything other than the search engine? I have no use for them outside that personally. It's "neat" to have the option to try some of their products sometimes, but no one I know relies on them. Well, google Maps is pretty awesome, so I give that to them (even though that capability was a purchased acquisition rather than developed in house)



    From office apps, to email, it is not the greatest (and in fact is also an invasion of privacy - something google has no qualms with) and there are much better options out there.



    I find it funny that Google points out bad interfaces on TVs and then show their own fisher price looking interface. LAME!
  • Reply 10 of 285
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    It searches your cable stations? I have EyeTV and it can't find info from encrypted tv channels on TWC. I wonder if the cable companies are going to welcome this.



    Of course not, unless Google strikes a deal with cable companies the encrypted channels will remain so.



    Cable companies could respond and encrypt free channels too, thus everyone will have to get a cable box and pay more every month.



    Likely the Google box will just stream from the Net and perhaps Netflix.
  • Reply 11 of 285
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    So......the keyboard just sits on the coffee table next to the remotes?
  • Reply 12 of 285
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    As an Apple TV owner I can tell you this looks like it will blow apple TV away. I still don't understand the lack of browser support on the apple tv.



    If they don't take Apple TV out of hobby status ... they might as well shut it down.



    I like my AppleTV but with multiple hardware partners I can see Google very quickly gaining more market share than the AppleTV. Even if AppleTV adds a web browser and AppStore I don't think Apple has enough of a lead.



    RIP AppleTV?
  • Reply 12 of 285
    asianbobasianbob Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


    Wow. what a bunch of losers. sit on Apple board, steal ideas, then leave and directly compete with knockoff products.



    Google sucks.



    And honestly, who needs google for anything other than the search engine? I have no use for them outside that personally. It's "neat" to have the option to try some of their products sometimes, but no one I know relies on them. Well, google Maps is pretty awesome, so I give that to them (even though that capability was a purchased acquisition rather than developed in house)



    From office apps, to email, it is not the greatest (and in fact is also an invasion of privacy - something google has no qualms with) and there are much better options out there.



    I find it funny that Google points out bad interfaces on TVs and then show their own fisher price looking interface. LAME!



    Someone's got a chip on their shoulder...



    The fact that Google has some big names onboard with them is a plus. There plenty of retail advertisment potential to get the name and concept out there. You can bet that Sony will plaster a GoogleTV sticker on the TVs they have on display. And they have a physical, nation-wide retailer (Best Buy) that everyone goes to.



    We'll see whether or not this catches on...
  • Reply 14 of 285
    Is this competition for Apple TV?



    Apple TV connects to the largest online TV/Music/Movie media store in the world and where users can buy content direct. Your Apple TV can replace your cable subscription.



    Google TV, if I understand correctly, connects to the internet and to a cable box, and does not sell any content to users. You can consume A) free web content or B) content from your cable subscription. This does not, in any way, replace your cable subscription.



    They compete in name only.



    Google's critique actually seems to be against the user interface of DVR/Cable set-top-boxes. To solve that, they would need Motorola and other set-top box hardware/software manufacturers to adopt this TV-flavored Android. Then, of course, Comcast etc. would have to adopt those boxes.
  • Reply 15 of 285
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    As an Apple TV owner I can tell you this looks like it will blow apple TV away. I still don't understand the lack of browser support on the apple tv.



    If they don't take Apple TV out of hobby status ... they might as well shut it down.



    Apple is still trying to figure out a way to make it a cable box. I think they are better off making it compete with gaming consoles for the time being, so it can make some revenue and fund itself.
  • Reply 16 of 285
    ekeefe41ekeefe41 Posts: 36member
    I don't understand how this is competition to AppleTV? AppleTV is an extension of iTunes to your TV where you can buy movies and TV shows. Google TV brings the web to your TV.

    Is there even a web browser on AppleTV?



    I know everyone is all jacked up looking for more Apple Vs Google fodder, but i don't think this new product really applies.
  • Reply 17 of 285
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    Watching as Google expands it's controls to yet another consumer space is grimly amusing. For those who love free stuff and features, this will be very popular (see comments above). However, to have Google tracking so much of the consumer sphere is undeniably invasive and compromising. Wait until they offer free services to government agencies. It is a logical extension of their service map. On the other hand all it will take is a well-executed (and well-publicized) hack of Google data infrastructure and somnambulent consumers will disavow Google, politicians will leap valiantly (after the fact) to investigate just what Google's data represents and how vulnerable consumers are.



    Or perhaps not. It is a fallacy to look at single product announcements in isolation from the overall business plan and strategy of Google. To understand what Google is ultimately building towards you have to understand what drives their business. Something to think about.



  • Reply 18 of 285
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Competition?



    I thought at least TWO opponents were needed to have a competition.



    Apple TV has yet to weigh in.
  • Reply 19 of 285
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    As an Apple TV owner I can tell you this looks like it will blow apple TV away. I still don't understand the lack of browser support on the apple tv.



    If they don't take Apple TV out of hobby status ... they might as well shut it down.



    I own an Apple TV as well, but I don't see any difference between the two other than the Goolgle TV has a native browser whereas I had to hack my AppleTV to add browsing. Also, even though I have an AppleTV, I must say in comparison to a Mac Mini or laptop, these devices stink. I hooked my Macbook Pro to my HDTV and not only do I have access to iTunes and the entire web(including Hulu), but i also can play DVDs and CDs and can perform all other computer related tasks(unlike either of these devices).
  • Reply 20 of 285
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    I like my AppleTV but with multiple hardware partners I can see Google very quickly gaining more market share than the AppleTV. Even if AppleTV adds a web browser and AppStore I don't think Apple has enough of a lead.



    RIP AppleTV?



    I believe the only thing that can save apple, in this TV market, is a subscription model with iTunes. If that happens Apple will be very strong ... perhaps stronger than google can ever be with the iTunes head start.
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