The topic of Google TV is the subject of my latest Engadget column. While I agree TVs need an overhaul and there’s an evolution of that screen that is indeed happening, I’m not convinced that Google’s approach is the correct one. If you need to invoke an IR blaster to make it work, that’s probably a good sign you’re moving in the wrong direction. It’s also hard to see what’s in this that isn’t already for the most part in other platforms such as TiVi Premiere or Media Center PCs. One can’t ignore a Google effort, if for not other reason than it’s Google, but this doesn’t feel on target to me.
I get why the TV is important to Google — it’s a great opportunity for even more ad revenue. But the TV is not a phone or a PC. Consumers are looking for a different type of connected experience in their living rooms, and it’s one that so far has defied every attempt to merge the TV and PC. GoogleTV just feels like the latest in a long line of niche products more likely to appeal to the enthusiast than to the mass market. An old joke has a consumer lamenting for a phone or PC that’s as easy to use as a TV. Google can’t succeed making the TV as complex as your other devices.