How Google TV Can Be Saved

By  |  Friday, July 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

Logitech is taking a beating for throwing early support behind Google TV. The company announced that it will cut the price of its Logitech Revue Google TV box to $99, which means each unit will be sold at a loss. And just in case there was any question of whether Google TV was a flop, Logitech offered an embarrassing statistic: The Revue saw more returns than sales last quarter.

This isn’t the end of Google TV. Google plans to revamp the software this summer with an interface based on Android Honeycomb, with access to the Android Market. But to make Google TV a living room powerhouse, Google and its hardware partners need to learn a few lessons from the first generation’s flop.

Google TV set-top boxes must be $100 or less

Google can argue all it wants that the services Google TV offers are worth a premium price, but the reality is that Apple TV costs $99 and Roku starts at $59. A $99 Google TV box may be unsustainable for Logitech, but anything significantly costlier will have a hard time proving its worth to consumers who want to augment their existing TV experience.

Google TV software needs to be complete

Tech companies, and especially Google, have a tendency to ship incomplete hardware these days. While that may fly on the new frontiers of phones and tablets, TV watchers are accustomed to getting their content without much trouble. At launch, Google TV was buggy, it lacked support for Android remote controls and its Netflix app could only stream from users’ instant queues. Whatever features Google promises next time around need to be available right away without serious hiccups.

Google needs to make nice with TV networks

Soon after Google TV launched, one of its big value propositions—access to the full web in all of its streaming video glory—fell apart. All the major networks blocked Google TV, as did Viacom, for obvious reasons: Google TV circumvented paid television while threatening to become a presence in TV advertising. If Google wants to have a full range of video options on its TV software, it needs to reconcile with networks, even if the best outcome is getting Hulu Plus on the next wave of set-top boxes.

Google TV needs a marketing hook

Most important of all, Google and its hardware partners need to clearly communicate why someone should buy a Google TV instead of an Apple TV or Roku. The promise of using a search box to find TV content obviously wasn’t enough, and the promise of the full web didn’t hold water (see above). I’m no marketing expert, but Google may do well to play up the Android angle, given how many people now own Android smartphones and may wish to access their content on the big screen.

(This post republished from Techland.)

 
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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Says:

    Hulu+, netflix, and ESPN will solve most of the content problems. ESPN is important as most sports fans will not drop cable if they do not have it. Another idea is to have PlayOn compatibility.

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  4. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Should have been based on a mobile SoC, like Apple TV, so it can run all day on very little power, taking up little space and generating little heat. Also, it will need to support AirPlay.

  5. Lava Says:

    Google TV is dead. AirPlay killed it.

  6. dholyer Says:

    So did you enjoy that juicy worm in your Apple? The only good thing Apple has done ever is switch from the Motorola CPU to a Intel one that is much faster and less pricy.

    Now all they need to do is stop brain washing it's users. In plain English that is Apple is not GOD, it is only a corporation that makes money and just as evil as all other corporations this current government dislikes until the donations arrive.

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    Google needs to learn how to focus. They're an advertising agency gone wild. Tech is merely a cover for their antics.

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  12. office design Says:

    By revamping the UI, Google addresses one of the biggest complaints consumers initially had about the service, which was met with an underwhelming response when it launched last year. Another gripe people had was its limited content options, which the company has improved somewhat and continues to work on.

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