Google introduces Android-powered Apple TV competitor



  • Reply 161 of 285
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member
    If it can interface with your cable box, why even have a Tivo anymore?

    This claims to basically provide a universal interface for Web, existing content, and cable content all together.

    I know someone who knows someone... etc, who just jumped from Tivo to Google, was supremely respected at Tivo, is probably part of this project, and I'm sure management at Tivo are sh**ing bricks right now.

    One *minor* showstopper: is Cable/Satellite on board?

    If not, this is DOA and will be as much a "hobby" as the AppleTV (at least AppleTV has a store).
  • Reply 162 of 285
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

    Well, as someone who loves his Apple TV I have to say, this looks like it could well beat it.

    I don't understand the need for a browser on the TV (my PS3's got that and I never use it), but something that would pull everything together into one nice, unified interface would be great.

    The stance Apple have taken with Apple TV seems a bit odd to me. It's fine to call it a hobby, but when I take on a project as a hobby I tend to be continually evolving it and changing it, but Apple TV seems to be the same now as it was when they first introduced movie rentals on it (with a couple of UI tweaks). I do think it could be a lot more, but it would be enough if they could figure out a way to have "rental" of individual TV episodes, either backed by advertising or something that you pay a sensible amount to watch something once.

    The PS3 browser is pretty terrible, but still useful to take a quick look at a few sites. Better than no browser certainly. I doubt a browser on the Apple TV could be up to much though, given how underpowered the hardware is.

    Imagine an Apple TV running the iPhone OS, with a full App store. Apple seem to have no problem now allowing streaming services like Netflix and Spotify on iPhone OS but have so far kept Apple TV locked down tight. That needs to change. An A4 based Apple TV with no hard drive and a little flash storage could be super cheap, and super useful. They just need to have the will to make it so, which so far they clearly don't. Maybe Google TV will force them into action. They should also allow it to be built right into HDTVs, as Google are doing.
  • Reply 163 of 285
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member
    Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

    You're wrong. The reason why it's a "hobby" is because the networks have refused to go along with a subscription service or $.99/show that Apple offered. You can already get a DVR for ont $10/month but the truth is that it's really not worth it. Networks already program their best shows to start a couple of minutes after you start your dvr so you miss the ending (ie American Idol). They want the ad paid equivalent to a live audience.

    The issue is the networks will not cave until there is a web revenue plan that equals what they get paid now. This is part of the reason why iAds exists.

    Just to reply, all DVRs can set a default or per-show adjustment of start/stop times. I do this for critical shows, even though it causes overlaps with shows afterwards (which are rendered less of an issue if you have 2+ tuners in the DVR).

    TV without a DVR is unthinkable, and I would probably just ditch cable/sat and go with Hulu/TPB and buy season DVDs of the ones I liked afterwards.
  • Reply 164 of 285
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

    The problem is the TV networks and Hollywood are afraid of letting iTunes dominate. They saw what happened to the music labels. Apple might get a subscription deal, but they won't be allowed to be the only game in town. Consumers will have other options like Hulu, the BBC iPlayer, Netflixs, etc available on the GoogleTV.

    Apple should maybe buy some of hollywood. Get some content. Content is king they used to say.

    Apple owns zero content.
  • Reply 165 of 285
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    I wonder how long this will stay in Beta when/if released.
  • Reply 166 of 285
    appdevappdev Posts: 61member
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

    This just in:

    Android-powered coffee maker

    Android-powered blow-up doll

    Android-powered pr0n videos

    Android-powered landfills

    Android-powered <insert next useless Android-powered appliance here>

    And of course, an Android-powered Android.

    Did I miss anything?


    I know you made that statement jokingly but Google's growth and the spread of android is impressive. If you are concerned with privacy, it's actually scary.

    - Google search is completely dominating the market

    - If they get to keep AdMod they would have the largest mobile ad network (atleast for now),

    - Android os on phones is growing really fast (they announce today that they are selling 100k android phones a day)

    - Android os would be running Google TV

    - Ford and GM have announce that they will be using Android os for their cars (internet, gps, audio, in-car speakers, ...)

    - Google's purchase of GIPS a few days ago and Gizmo5 last year positions them to possibly compete against Skype in the VoIP space.

    Google is really entrenching themselves in people's lives. Can you imaging the amount of data they can collect about people?
  • Reply 167 of 285
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

    This begs the question of whether or not a browser manufacturer could in fact make it send whatever they liked (i.e. could you make a browser for desktop that sends the same header as the iPhone does)? What I'm getting at is, could you trick the server into doing what you want and hence, stop someone like Hulu being able to block you?

    Technically possible but very unlikely. User Agent information is just a set of strings, so you can fake it. But not going to happen.
  • Reply 168 of 285
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Originally Posted by AppDev View Post

    I watched the keynote and yes it does blow the Apple TV away. There is no need to hit input on your remote to switch to another input source. It works on the same source as your tv.

    It's a seamless integration allow you to search basically search the entire internet while you are watching your tv and you can do this by typing in your query or just talking to it. It also integrates with the Android marketplace allowing you to purchase apps or run your purchased apps on your tv.

    You can also pull up websites and since there is full support for flash you can watch Hulu, Clicker ... practically any website right on your tv. It looks very promising.

    Now I'm excited to see what Apple is going to come up with to counter Google TV. You go to love competition.

    Absolutely. One thing I can't stomach is Apple standing still or ceding a leadership position. If they keep messing around without putting the troops on the ground for Apple TV, they will fade into also-ran status.
  • Reply 169 of 285
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

    Lots on questions...

    - No mention of DVR so is it 'not for now' or 'not gonna go there'

    - No mention of quality, 720p? 1080i, 1080p?

    - No mention of Netflix and/or Hulu (by design or are they working on one/both of them)

    - No mention of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC or any of the cable channels who provide episodes.

    It's gotta be something more than a 'Chrome Browser' in a set-top box or in my eyes it will no a non-starter and somewhere BELOW the existing AppleTV in appeal.


    That is unless... this box an open platform that developers can deploy 'stations' (streaming apps) on to **and** if it supported 1080p with good audio support. Then it's an entirely different product and one that Apple will be KICKING themselves for not doing first.

    I realize that Apple can only 'effectively' juggle so many 'major projects' at the same time but the Apple TV ___NEEDS___ an SDK and not the iPhone SDK as many are wishing for. The iPhone SDK is all about GESTURES the Apple TV is all about simple 'remote' navigation. Just think for a second how useless an iPhone or iPad app would be on an Apple TV.

    Now what to do? Divide the talented develops at Apple between the iPhone and iPad and NOW the AppleTV or keep moving in the general direction of being 100% focused on the iPhone SDK platform. Oh and lets not forget ... Apple still has a COMPUTER OS it needs to maintain... However something tells me 10.7 is simmering on the WAY BACK back burner and the WWDC keynote agenda all but confirms that.


    I gotta wonder if Steve's interests in Disney and Pixar are clouding his judgment about what is best for consumers in the TV space. Apple has made some questionable decisions about where they are actually heading with all this.
  • Reply 170 of 285
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,890member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    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.

    Not a problem if you have a Tivo.

    Would it not be funny if Apple were to release some kickass new version of the Apple TV before Google can get their app out there?
  • Reply 171 of 285
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,391member
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

    I don't think it should be doubted. While they may have planned to use it for other things if the hobby ever became mature enough, the design of the box does need a way to access the system without ripping it apart, as stevetim states.

    Personally, it's not even worth discussing that much.

    You're certainly entitled to that view (and may even be right).

    I still remain skeptical, since I doubt that that Apple would implement something so clunky for 'diagnostics.' (And, what diagnostics would those be, btw?).
  • Reply 172 of 285
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    You're certainly entitled to that view (and may even be right).

    I still remain skeptical, since I doubt that that Apple would implement something so clunky for 'diagnostics.' (And, what diagnostics would those be, btw?).

    What is clunky about USB?

    And imagine getting an AppleTV that need to be diagnosed, and reset to sell as a refurbished unit. Plugging into the USB port and troubleshooting and restoring it if there are no HW issues would be easy.

    I am on my 4th AppleTV. The first three had issues pretty much immediately. Apparently not linking the Apple Remote caused it to not see the remote at all after using it for a spell. I don't how else they could get in there without ripping the device apart. I suppose TDMoE could have been built in, but I think USB is much easier.

    Diagnostics ports are pretty common on more costly HW appliances. You can even setup your Honda using HonData with puts a USB port into the car's computer.
  • Reply 173 of 285
    sargessarges Posts: 94member
    simple question:

    does google tv have a tuner that allows to watch terrestrial channels (just like your ordinary tv set)?

    if not, then it cannot be called television and I wouldn't be interested in buying it
  • Reply 174 of 285
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Originally Posted by sarges View Post

    simple question:

    does google tv have a tuner that allows to watch terrestrial channels (just like your ordinary tv set)?

    if not, then it cannot be called television and I wouldn't be interested in buying it

    The Sony HDTV does.

    This isn't a single piece of hardware. It is a spec and some software. Manufacturers can build standalone boxes as Logitech is doing or add GoogleTV to other devices such as HDTVs and Blu-ray players as Sony is doing.
  • Reply 175 of 285
    kung fu guykung fu guy Posts: 158member
    Google is like a ten headed hydra. It wants to get into everything. None of its products are exceptionally good. Google wants to do everything and is a master of nothing, with the sole exception of search. Gee another box with android on it. Soon there will be a google solution to the oil spill in the gulf. Next a google car running android. Space travel by google too! None of which would be any good like its phones. Google cola?
  • Reply 176 of 285
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

    Here is a good example that will answer your question. These are actual headers caught on a web server log file.

    First is iphone safari hit: "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20"

    Second is regular mac safari hit: "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_5; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Safari/525.20.1"

    So a programmer can use this header info and direct accordingly.

    Cool. Thanks for that. Guess that means Hulu will know.....
  • Reply 177 of 285
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    The difference between now and the 1980s is that Apple has several side revenue streams iTunes/App Store/iAds which help support their main source of revenue which is hardware. Whether or not this can save them from what Google is trying, or seems to be trying to do, is hard to say, but I think you can see each companies long range goals. I see it like this but people may disagree.

    Apple: I think their long term goal is to destroy the World Wide Web as we know it and replace it with a universe of applications. For example, rather then going to or you just open their apps. What is the benefit of this? I guess it allows the companies to bypass Google if you think they are a worse gatekeeper than Apple. Might be other benefits too. The benefit for Apple is they lock people in and can use iAd to bring in extra revenue and hopefully lock out Google. The downside is that Apple does for the internet what it did for music with iTunes. Control everything.

    Google: Clearly their goal is to be everywhere and be in everything,iPhones, computers, cards, set-top boxes, etc and to remain the single source all search and keep the ad revenue coming in. What is the benefit? I guess free sofware a la Android and a company that seems easy to work with. The downside is that a lot of people and goverments are very uncomfortable, maybe rightfully so, with Google and the amount of information they have. The thought is that Google is the next Microsoft, the 1000 pound gorillia in the room, but I think the goverment watchdogs won't let that happen if they can stop it.

    Who will win? I'm honestly not sure but it will be interesting to see what happens.
  • Reply 178 of 285
    Nah... These days and in near future those two companies will swapped businesses. Apple

    with the patented voucher adverts and google with everything but the kitchen sinks. Frankly speaking I'm beginning to dislike google because of their hands on everything approaches. Sure they can do that but don't you remember the first mantra you holding onto when you first start?
  • Reply 179 of 285
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    I've read the article and the first 100, or so, comments.

    Here's what I understand from all this.

    GTV provides a STB and/or

    built-in TV Module that allows a TV viewer to:

    1) search the web for free/ad-supported content: YouTube, ABC, etc.

    2) stream play that content on demand

    3) search The Web for paid/subscription content: NetFlix, HuLu,, etc.

    4) stream play that content

    5) search locally-connected (wired or WiFi) boxes (cable, DVR) for content

    6) play that content

    7) search locally available iTunes content

    8) stream play that content

    Apple may block 7 and 8, or at least DRM purchased content

    But it looks like GTV [mostly] provides an aggregated search and play.

    I suspect that you will still need remotes to schedule the Cable/Box DVR

    What will make this work is if:

    1) it is reasonably priced

    2) it quickly becomes ubiquitous

    3) there is a keyboard/device somewhere in the loop that ties this all together and eliminates all other remotes

    4) it is drop-dead easy to instal and use

    That's a pretty difficult proposition

    I don't know whether Google is up to the job.

    So, what does this do to the AppleTV?

    If Apple does nothing to AppleTV, then it may co-exist with, or become subsumed by GTV-- just another box in the search and play aggregation.

    But, will/need this happen?


    1) the AppleTV already exists.

    2) it already does everything the GTV is going to do except search/stream the general web content and search/play local box content

    3) it already can (and will continue to) search play iTunes content

    AppleTV, while the here and now, is missing a few things to compete with the Future GTV.

    But, AppleTV uses basically the same OS as the iPhone-- the AppleTV is just an iPod Shuffle with a really, realy big screen!

    That means that Apple could open the device to developers and apps. That means that iPad content apps such as NetFlix, ABC, etc. would be an easy port, today. Likewise mobile Safari!

    I suspect that in a matter of weeks Apple could write an Aggregator/Player app with bits and pieces it has laying around. And/or offer an AppleTV that uses a version of the same processor that's in the iPad.

    I think that, done soon, and done right Apple could have a 6-month lead over the competition.

    Oh yeah, that remote could be:

    -- a BT KB with a few reassigned/additional buttons

    -- a new, inexpensive, dedicated iPod touch-like device

    -- any existing iPhone or iPod Touch

    -- for heavy lifting an iPad

    And, if Apple does the UI and implementation, you know it'll be done right!

  • Reply 180 of 285
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member

    It offers integration with an existing cable or satellite set top box using HDMI, and comes with an infrared blaster to control them.

    Really? Cuz every version I've ever seen of this going back to switching your VCR channel (back in the day) has been teh suck. I won't pass judgement until I see a real-life shipping production (Google's mascot is the beta, after all), but I'd be surprised if that interface is anything worth writing home about.

    I know for a fact that cable companies like Cox are going to do everything in their power to not make the experience to a Google device very pleasant.
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