Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Best Buy Offering Free Google TV Installation with a Purchase

Logitech was kind enough to send a review unit of their Revue Google TV "smart TV adapter" a couple of weeks ago, and I tried it out at the office. For a direct connection to an HDTV, it's a very simple process, and I was able to open a number of the Web-based apps and see what the experience was like.

However, there is no TV service at our office, so to really get a true test, I had to bring the Revue home. This is where the installation process got tricky, and it's stalled any further testing.
What I'm struggling to figure out is how the Revue product bridges between the set-top box and the AV receiver. The FiOS set-top box only has one HDMI port, which goes straight into the receiver and provides the video feed to the TV. If I unplug this and plug the Revue box in, I lose the picture.

Second, I already have many different connections into the receiver, so I'm trying to figure out where I would add another and reconfigure the settings to properly display the Google TV user interface.

I wonder if other people considering a "smart TV" this holiday season will find the installation questions too much of an inhibitor to actually go forward with a product purchase. In fact, our Digital Media Evolution II survey from Q2 2010 provides just this insight. When consumers not interested in a connected TV are asked why, the results are:
  • 31%: I would be concerned about privacy;
  • 25%: My TV is not located near an Internet connection;
  • 24%: I don't want an additional cable connected to my TV;
  • 20%: I'm afraid that my TV will stop working because of a virus;
  • 19%: I wouldn't know how to connect the TV to the Internet; and
  • 17%: Connecting the TV would be too complicated/time consuming.

Clearly, this industry has some configuration and usage information to deliver to consumers, and give Best Buy credit. They have set up a site to explain the differences between "Internet-connectable" and "smart TVs."

For a single HDTV with no connection to an AV receiver, I don't think configuration will be much of a hassle. However, for those of us who invested in a home theater set-up, there's no sense creating a "smart TV" environment if we can't enjoy things like Netflix movies or Pandora in a 5.1 surround environment.

This is where Best Buy's press release from last week comes into play. For a limited time, customers who purchase a Sony Internet TV or Blu-ray player powered by Google TV will receive complimentary Geek Squad set-up and consultative services.

I could really use this service right now. I'd rather let the professional deal with the installation, proper configuration, and any necessary programming (remotes, etc.) rather than deal with the tangle of wires sitting behind the home entertainment console.
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