Market Overview

Google TV Refresh Might Have Beaten Apple at its Own Game


Apps and smartphone control provide Google TV with an interesting upgrade. But is it enough?

It's no secret that consumers didn't care about the first iteration of Google TV (NASDAQ: GOOG), primarily because it sucked. It was a useless device that was rooted in Google technology (mostly YouTube) and little else. Now if the search engine giant were to acquire Hulu, this generic box might evolve into a solid device. Google could use the acquisition to eliminate the “must subscribe to Hulu Plus” barrier and allow Google TV users access to their favorite shows – streamed directly to their televisions – without the $8 monthly fee. But as it stands now, Google TV does not support Hulu at all, with or without the Plus subscription.

The “new” Google TV does not change that. Instead, the company hopes to lure consumers with features we are bound to see in Apple's first television set – apps and smartphone control. Smartphones can be used as a remote control to change channels or as a game controller to play games.

That sounds an awful lot like something Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would do, doesn't it?

“We love watching TV ‘cause it makes us laugh, it informs us and it brings us together,” Google proclaims in its brand-new video. “We also love our web and our smartphone apps because, well, they make us laugh, they inform us, and they bring us together. So what if the web and apps we love on the small screen could join the TV shows we love on the big screen for a bigger and better experience?”


This is all well and good, but as TechCrunch notes, Google TV is still a glorified box for YouTube and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). Unless the apps are really compelling, I think I'll pass.

Follow me @LouisBedigian

Posted-In: Google Google TV Hulu Netflix techcrunchNews Tech Best of Benzinga


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