While I knew for weeks that Google TV was going to be announced at the annual I/O developers conference that was held this week, I did not expect to see such a radical change in the way that people might be watching television soon. Sure, there were a lot of whiz-bang features and we don’t know how they will play out once the actual product reaches stores. But the reality is that my TV is just plain terrible right now compared to what Google TV can offer me.
The ability to use the web and TV at the same time? Check. An input device that I can use to do this? Check. Apps for television? Certainly. Integration with my Android-powered phone? Well, of course.
For the past decade, those of us who grew up with computers have had no choice but to sit on the couch with an uncomfortably hot laptop while watching TV at the same time. It’s really become an annoyance and the conglomerate cable/satellite providers never saw any reason to make a change since they were already getting fat profits from TV and internet service while keeping them separate entities. But along comes the ever-disrupting Google gathering its own band of partners to make the television experience very much different.
It was clear that Google had been working on this for some time (2.5 years), and the ability to add in services to Google TV that we already use on the web makes a ton of sense. Take television subtitles being translated into other languages, powered by Google Translate. This is just one example that shows more Google services will likely trickle down into even more features for Google TV that will make it very difficult for the competition. Not to mention the potential advertising implications that this will have for Google.
So, as it stands, my current television viewing has taken a dive. It’s not interactive; I cannot easily search for the specific shows that I want. I’m still squinting at a fourteen inch display when I watch Hulu or check out videos on YouTube. It’s been a real revelation to me now how bad my video viewing experiences currently are, but for now I’m stuck with them.