Parks Associates Blog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is Google TV for real?

There is value in Google's solution (the ability to initiate searches across all kinds of content, including a pay-TV provider's channel lineup), but there are drawbacks. First, will users want to use a keyboard in their TV search experience? (Logitech says that the Harmony software can be downloaded as an app to Android smartphones, so that would be another option.)

Second, without the blessing of the pay-TV providers (DISH Network is the only service provider to work with Google TV), Google's search capabilities would be limited to the provider's program guide information and NOT assets like VoD titles. As the VoD libraries of the service providers grow, search and discovery is going to be more and more important - Joe Ambeault commented that Verizon constantly changes the title art and positioning of its VoD assets to encourage purchases.

Google touts its TV solution as an open platform, but one has to wonder if the pay-TV providers will care. Verizon's approach has been to develop advanced TV features themselves. Let's assume that we start to see more provider-device relationships emerge such as the LG Electronics/Orange deal or Philips Net TVs and TeliaSonera VoD. In this case, could Google TV be useful? Sure, but the question is who controls the user interface and search functionality. I would think the operator would still want that control.

To learn more about Google TV and other topics from the CONNECTIONS 2010 Conference, please subscribe to the Parks Points Newsletter.

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