Google TV seems to be falling short of expectations. Some major broadcast TV networks are spotting flaws in the first release of the software. Sony is shipping its line of HDTVs and Internet TV Blu-ray Players powered by Google (News - Alert) TV, whereas Logitech is shipping its REVUE set-top box.
Some early reviews of the software bring out some issues with video quality coming in from various websites. Viewers have also reported problems with passing through high definition video using the HDMI connections.
Due to a recent spat between cable TV subscribers and broadcasters, ABC, CBS and NBC have blocked access to their online video portals from the Google TV browser. Hulu (News - Alert).com and CBS’s TV.com are also currently blocked. This implies that viewers can no longer watch full-length TV shows on any computer via the Internet using Google TV.
However, among all these broadcasters, FOX is still permitting Google TV access.
Popular cable TV networks are building portals that follow the Google TV Style Guide, which will eventually make them look better and operate more conveniently for Google TV users.
TBS offers full-length reruns of “Seinfeld,” “The Office,” “American Dad,” and other shows, whereas TNT provides original series like “The Closer” and “Leverage.” Some networks like Comedy Central feature “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report,” and “South Park,” all favorites with the 20-something demographic.
NBC though has blocked broadcasting of its TV shows, but NBC-owned Syfy and Bravo networks are available to Google TV. On the other hand, SpikeTV, owned by MTV Networks (News - Alert) (Viacom), has programs like Entourage available to Google TV.
It will be interesting to see whether next-generation Google TV set-top box includes a digital terrestrial TV tuner. If it does, then blocking problems will get completely solved since consumers could simply tune-in the free-to-air, high definition full-length broadcast programs and record them onto the built-in personal video recorder.
The early users of the software are likely to test its early release to the max. Already, users are complaining about the lack of current support for the popular Windows Media Codecs, and problems with other popular web-based Codecs.
Some users feel they are not getting value for their money as lower-cost set-top boxes from Roku, Boxee (News - Alert), and NMT can also support a wide range of Codecs.
Though the present of Google TV might not look very flashy, but experts believe that in coming years TV networks will need to come to grips with Google TV and figure out how to make it play to their monetary advantage.
And as the set-top boxes get better and better, consumers are going to want more and more of their content delivered “on demand” to their TV sets via the Internet.
Rahul Arora is a TMCnet contributor. He has worked as an editor and freelance writer for several reputed organizations in India. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf