I’m bullish on Google TV. Bullish. Well, bullish on the concept of Google TV and how it integrates with the current way most people consume television and the way we’ll all consume television in the future. Whether Google TV as a platform ultimately succeeds or fails doesn’t matter as much as the method with which Google has fused TV and the web together. It sets a standard that potential competitors should closely emulate with future products.
Google TV is not like Apple TV or Boxee or Roku or any of those boxes that connect to your television set. It does some of the same things that those boxes do, but it does a whole lot more.
The standard internet-connected TV box connects to an auxiliary input on your TV and exists separately from however you normally watch TV—TiVo, your cable company’s DVR, over-the-air, etc. Your cable box, for instance, connects to the primary input on your TV and when you want to watch something on your Apple TV, you switch to input two.
Google TV is a primary input device. It sits between your cable box and your television set and acts as a layer over the top of however you normally watch TV. This is crucially important and is the fundamental difference between Google TV and everything else that’s out there. Everything.
So in my case, Comcast goes into the back of my TiVo box, the HDMI output from my TiVo box goes into the HDMI input on the Logitech Revue, and then the HDMI output on the Logitech Revue goes into the HDMI input on my TV.
The end result is a TiVo interface that works just like it normally does and, when I want it, a Google TV interface that I can bring up over the top of TiVo when I want to do something more advanced than TiVo offers.
You could literally hook Google TV up in your house and nobody would notice that it’s there. That makes it a great option for households where some people just want to watch TV and other people want to be able to stream Netflix, watch YouTube videos, or surf the web on the big screen.