Google Television - What is it?
Google television is the latest in the new wave of marriages between the modern web and more traditional television equipment. Concerned lately over the steady drop in viewership for regular television networks, television companies, media companies and internet technology companies have begun experimenting with advanced offerings that will bring the flexibility and searchability of the web to the usual television experience, in an effort to bolster television sales and programming loyalty.
Although the average American is said to spend an average of 5 hours per day (!) in front of the television, the latest trend that has troubled television manufacturers and programmers is the web-ification of television viewing. Popular streaming sites like hulu, youtube and netflix have allowed the average internet user to turn their laptop into a portal to limitless entertainment. This trend has seen more and more users, especially of the more internet savvy younger generations, heading online instead of to their couch when they want to watch their favorite shows.
Google television is an attempt to offer a response to the seeming disconnect between traditional televised media and online streaming sites. Following in the footsteps of other internet television enterprises, such as Roku, which allows owners of specially designed internet-capable televisions to stream content from the web, such as popular television series and movies, through their home television, resulting in a space-age version of watching TV.
How Far Along is Google Television?
The team behind google television believes that the general population is still interested in watching TV, but they've simply been spoiled by the flexibility and searchability of the internet. A user browsing netflix.com's extensive online library, for instance, can simply type in the name of a movie or television series they wish to view and be watching it within seconds. Google television will bring this level of functionality and searchability to the traditional home television experience.
Google is currently discussing google television with media companies and television networks alike, in an effort to drum up support for its new platform in the form of licensing rights and program participation by companies that own libraries of content. Though some networks and media companies have appeared slightly squeamish over the idea of opening themselves up to the kind of access required by google television, Google is nevertheless optimistic about its new product's chances, saying it will be made available in the next few weeks, just ahead of the coming holiday season.
What's the Overall Point of Google Television?
Google is hoping to provide its customers with the same level of "on-demand" service made that has turned sites like netflix into overwhelming successes. In the same spirit of its globally dominant search engine, Google television will convey the companies characteristic type and go functionality.
Some of the most exciting and advanced features of Google Television are sure to be those related to multi-tasking web functionality. For example, Google television users will be able to customize the "home page" of their TV's, so they can see in a glance all of their favorite web pages, internet television channels and movie streaming services. Multi-tasking screens will allow google television users to watch an episode of their favorite show in one corner while chatting with friends at the bottom of their screen and browsing their e-mail in the background.