Why Google TV Will Beat Apple TV

by francine Hardaway on October 17, 2010

Like all good Steve Jobs fans, I bought Apple TV the day it was announced, and already have it hooked up to the TV in my media room. Why not? It’s easy to use, it costs $99, and I can now watch Leo la Porte,  Jason Calcanis and Robert Scoble podcasts on a 46-inch screen. I can also stream photos of my grandson and my dogs, and watch Netflix movies or old music videos from YouTube. I found this amazing. Every computer and device in my house (five) that has ITunes can stream stuff to my TV.

And there’s the rub. “Every computer in my house that has iTunes.” Not every machine that has live internet access.  I didn’t know how much I missed that until yesterday, when I stopped by the SONY New Media Lounge at Blog World Expo and got a chance to play with the new Google TV and see what it can do.

SONY also makes a 3-D TV, and I got to play with that as well. I had forgotten how beautiful the picture is on a SONY TV, especially one from which  a large fish appears to be swimming right toward you.

The Remote for the Google TV

But I wouldn’t really buy a 3-D TV. It seems like a bit of an oddity to me, especially with those dizzying glasses. Not so the Google TV, which I think belongs in my home as soon as I can get it there.

The Google TV does everything: you can watch TV and surf the web simultaneously in split screen mode; you can watch streaming video from any source; you can tweet and email (on a 46-inch HD screen). Larger than life Twitter? Right up my alley.

What I realized most about Apple TV’s limits after a week was that I couldn’t stream Justin.tv, or UStream. I watch a lot of streaming video, because I can’t always attend conferences in person in the Bay Area. I love the opportunity to check in on a TechCrunchTV live stream between other obligations.

GoogleTV just comes closer to the convergence of computers and the living room than Apple TV does. But like everything Google, it ain’t pretty. The remote is crowded and clunky, more like a game console than a TV remote, and even though I had a demo and some training, I know when I buy this product I will have to learn its remote. This is no plug and play device — although by now, most of us have very complex remote controls for our home entertainment systems anyway. Consumers will continue to buy AppleTV, and I am by no means sorry I own it, but GoogleTV is for geeks — both computer and home entertainment.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

sukhjit October 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Great to see your thoughts on the Sony Internet TV, Francine. Appreciate that you took the time to come check it out. Let me know once you get your TV. Would love to hear your unboxing experience as well. nnTake care and GREAT to see you at Blog World!nnSukhjit

PXLated October 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm

So the headline should really be — Why Google TV Will Beat Apple TV with Geeks but Fail with Everyone Else?

hardaway October 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Yeah. I guess so:-) rnrnFrancine Hardaway, PH.drn@hardawayrn816.WRITTENrnrnHttp://www.Stealthmode.com

Ian McGee October 18, 2010 at 12:48 am

That remote is terrible — clearly built by Sony Electronics rather than someone competent from the games division… Hope someone who has some non-rectangular buttons and a modicum of design sense brings one out soon.

Heinz121 October 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I wonder why Sony went for that odd remote control when Logitech went for a wireless (and almost full size) QWERTY keyboard?nnAnd are they they interchangeable?

hardaway October 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I agree, and I don’t believe they are interchangeable.rnrnFrancine Hardaway, Ph DrnGV: 816.WRITTEN

Simply_bill October 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

It would be even better if you did a post about the lack of quality in Sony products. I understand that you owe your friend Sukhiit a post because Sony is getting killed online. nnCheckout my page. “I HAVE A DEFECTIVE SONY TV” on Facebook.nnhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Have-a-Defective-Sony-TV/182875766612nnI expect you to delete this like Sony does when anyone post something negative on their Facebook page.

Ferrous October 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I don’t see the big deal with the remote… it’s just a keyboard attached to a little remote. Doesn’t look difficult at all.

hardaway October 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

That’s what I thought after I played with it a bit.rnrnFrancine Hardaway, Ph DrnGV: 816.WRITTEN

hardaway October 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm

No, I won’t delete it. And since I haven’t bought the TV, there’s no way i could have written that post.rnrnFrancine Hardaway, Ph DrnGV: 816.WRITTEN

Miranda January 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I have the Google TV- I have to say it is well worth the investment. I absolutely love it! As for the remote, it is a lot easier and more functional then it looks. I have no complaints. I work for DISH and I had the opportunity to play with it all before I purchased it and Honestly I think even if I hadn’t it is very user friendly. n–Miranda

Serenalucky May 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

Google TV can beat Apple TV because of its exciting price,which is suitable for almost everyone .Google products are most trustworthy.Google TV not only browse internet on TV but also can watch the missing shows.Google TV can access more than 40,000 shows.

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