The official Google TV blog reports that partners will be back at CES 2013 once again to showcase a new lineup of products. Google has been struggling to gain market share since the original Google TV platform launched in October 2010, marred by a lack of enthusiasm and support from content owners because they say Google doesn't do enough to curb piracy.
The 2012 show seemed promising, and so far one of the more noteworthy products stemming from the 2nd-generation Google TV platform is the Vizio Co-Star set-top box that's reasonably priced at $99.99 USD. But as we've seen over the past year, manufacturers bringing that "make any TV a Smart TV" experience to the consumer has only done so through pure Android instead of Google's TV platform.
But maybe there's hope yet in getting more Google TV out to consumers. According to Google, new arrivals like Asus, Hisense, TCL and others will show products with Google TV launching in the coming weeks. Existing partners like LG, Vizio, Sony, and others will show off the newest Google TV platform, all showcasing set-top boxes, integrated TVs, and IPTV boxes that will be available across 10 countries this year.
Back in November, Google started talking about the 3rd-generation Google TV platform, reporting that it was rolling out as an update to LG devices and then products from other partners thereafter. The platform now supports voice search, allowing viewers to hunt down movies, sports shows and other content using voice commands. The updated platform also includes PrimeTime which allows users to quickly flip through the "best stuff on live TV, access your favorite channels, see TV shows you recently watched, and find other suggestions based on what you enjoy watching."
"With the updated YouTube app for Android and Google TV, your devices automatically pair so you can play any YouTube video from your Android phone or tablet on your TV with just one button," wrote Greg Funk and Eric Liu, Product Managers. "What’s playing on your mobile device looks even better on your Google TV."
Along with new products sporting the updated Google TV platform, Amazon Instant Video, France24, Dramafever and more content apps will be on showcase so that visitors have a better understanding of what consumers will experience in 2013. These add to the hundreds of TV-optimized apps and thousands of supported mobile apps available on Google TV, Google said.
In 2010, only three products launched with Google's first-generation Google TV platform: the Sony Internet TV (four sizes), the Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player, and the Logitech Revue. Sony returned in 2012 with the Internet Player and the Internet Blu-ray Disc Player, and was accompanied by LG's SmartTV (47- and 55-inch), the Vizio Co-Star, and just recently the Hisense Pulse.
To see what the new Google TV has to offer, check out the video below. We'll try to hunt down some of these gadgets during the show to give a hands-on about what Google's TV platform has to offer.
A simple upgrade to set top boxes would improve things dramatically. The user interface for my Comcast box is exactly the same as I remember it when I was a teenager. It amazes me every year when I search to upgrade our box and see that overall, they are the same old thing.
Huge cable companies have the power to put a small computer in front of our televisions, but they choose not to grasp at this opportunity. Why? I'd gladly pay a little more a month for added functionality.
So if they have already lost my generation, and changing things will make them loose their current customer base, then it is (sadly) best for them to keep their current model until it dies out entirely.
Well, I might as well recommend using an HTPC with tv tuners (that use cablecard/M-card if you want to view premium channels).
Pros: the fees are a little lower as your only using the card instead of a box.
Storage Capacity can be adjusted by you. 4+ TB anyone?
Depending on the media software you use, you can add as many tuners as you need.
You can add OTA channels to your pc while receiving QAM, Cable-card, and Analog signals. (all need to be on different tuners.)
Some media software allow you to change it to fit your needs. Hulu, Netflix, ect, can be added.
Cons: No pay-per-view
No interactive On-Demend channels.
If you recorded a premium channel, you can only watch the recording on the computer that recorded it (or so I hear but I can't confirm that.)
I'm pretty sure that there a few more con's but I still think the Pro's out weight the con's. :)
I'm running a small setup right now, running just 1 tuner (receiving QAM) and 750GB HDD since April, my family been liking the idea of a computer recording there shows. Well more than like, actually..
Lately, they been recording so much stuff that I'm going to need to buy another tuner or 2 (to reduce the recording conflicts) and more storage (less than 150GB) here soon. :lol:
Maybe Google didn't want to get caught up in the mess of politics with the cable companies, or didn't want to invest in building new cable boxes with new software.
Personally, I think it was a mistake for them to sell off the set-top box division, but who knows, maybe a separate Google TV or Apple TV box will catch on.