Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Google TV may avoid scaring TV providers, cost $299

updated 09:55 am EDT, Fri March 26, 2010

Google TV set-top may be secondary device

Google's increasingly rumored Google TV media hub may be consciously designed to avoid frightening cable and satellite providers if a new leak bears fruit. Rather than serve as a complete replacement for a TV set-top box, it would have its own HDMI input and daisy-chain from an existing piece of equipment. The Android device would take information from the TV provider's own device but would be marketed as a way of bringing the Internet and apps to an existing setup that could carry a subscription premium.

The approach would be a careful but potentially necessary balance for Google, which VideoNuze claimed is very aware of likely opposition from traditional TV. Especially through the use of the Chrome browser, Google TV could let users watch a large amount of TV networks' video for free and encourage them to scale down their channel packages or realize they could cancel cable or satellite entirely.

Google is contemplating a $299 price for its device if carrier resistance is strong enough that it has to sell the device in retail like a TiVo DVR, but its testing with Dish Network alludes to there being at least one candidate service.

The approach would be a very different one from devices like the Apple TV or Roku Internet Player, either of which is potentially a full-fledged replacement for regular TV. However, Google would likely view its own hardware as only a vehicle to help display ads and generate revenue from those rather focus solely on the content. It would face a probable block by Hulu as the Internet video host would try to steer clear of reprisals by cable networks.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +1

    Why?

    Excuse my stupidity, but really, what is the point of adding such a device to my current TV setup if I cannot reduce or remove my current provider? Just so I can have internet access on my HDTV? Could I not just do this with a Mac Mini?

  1. psdenno

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003

    +1

    Sooooooo....

    ..... what would this $299 service/device do that can't already be done with a spare computer if you have to hook it to your cable box and internet feed? What am I missing?

  1. siromega

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    -1

    The point is obvious!

    It sits between your cable box and HDTV (daisy-chained HDMI) and the goal is to allow you to (attempt) to seamlessly integrate your cable TV experience with internet content.

    This has been a problem for a while. Integrating CableCard into your hardware is a pain, and the cable companies are none to eager to see other companies bring cable STBs to the market. The new TiVo Premiere still lacks a web browser, DLNA/uPnP media sharing support, etc.

    On the other side, you have something like a Boxee box or Popcorn Hour which has tons of features but completely lacks any support for cable TV.

    So the goal for this device is to finally bring what appears to the user to be one device (even if its the GoogleTV and your cable STB) that features cable TV and a whole host of online and in-home media sharing options.

  1. davlab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +5

    The Cable providers are the problem...

    This rumored Google TV, Apple TV, TIVO and all the add on TV tuners on the market have the same problem - they can't decode encrypted digital and HD signals. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 "included a provision requiring cable companies to move cable security (descrambling) to external devices. The purpose was to break the cablebox duopoly and to open up a competitive market for cableboxes, as well as for televisions with built-in cable tuning and descrambling capabilities." http://hdguru.com/how-the-cable-industry-plans-to-cheat-10-million-hdtv-owners/

    Evidently the FCC is not doing their job in enforcing this act. The cable companies continue to thwart this provision, so there is no real way to tune or record cable signals and no one seems to be challenging them. TIVO is the only manufacturer that is attempting to provide a device (with the limited CableCard system), but they don't have enough power to do it on their own and may not survive against the cable industry. The rest of them aren't even trying to force the issue. The tru-2-way alternative isn't going anywhere either.

    My solution is a Mac mini with and EyeTV tuner. I can get any internet content, plus Netflix streaming, purchased or rented movies from Apple or other services and watch and record over the air and unencrypted cable (extended basic on Cox). The problem is the entire setup to too complex for most people, including my wife. To record anything encrypted I have to rewire the TV tuner to record the signal from the cable box, in which case the tuner can't set the channel. It can only start the recording at a set time.

    If the FCC would force the hand of the cable companies and make them provide a workable decoding solution, things might change, but I don't have much hope.

    Just think - Apple could provide a great solution, a device that could have a web browser, stream from internet sources (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.), rent or purchase content, watch and record TV (SD and HD) and access you local media, all with one consistent simple interface. Basically an AppleTV on steroids. But with Apple's self-interest in selling content
    and the opposition of the cable companies, I don't expect much. I mean, h***, the cable industry managed to kill off Hard Drive/DVD recorders with TV Guide program guides several years ago, as the unit sitting on my shelf can attest.

  1. Climb AZ

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +2

    sweet

    I think this is a good thing. I welcome it and I really want Apple to improve Apple TV to something more than an extension of the iTunes Store and media share. I would love to see a dvr setup.

    It's like siromega said, it has hdmi and sits between you cable box and tv. This is important just as davlab mentioned and it's cool to have a new option there.

    I would live to see an Apple Tivo :)

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: The Cable providers are the problem...

    This rumored Google TV, Apple TV, TIVO and all the add on TV tuners on the market have the same problem - they can't decode encrypted digital and HD signals.

    TiVo can decode encrypted digital and HD signals (as mine do). The problem is that some providers have avoided going cablecard because all it does is help the consumer not rent useless boxes from the provider. (As verizon said to my brother "But if you get a TiVo, you won't be able to run any of our widgets!".

    BTW, their excuses range from "It's keeping us from offering the best 'experience' to our customers" or how its cutting into their innovation.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: Why?

    Excuse my stupidity, but really, what is the point of adding such a device to my current TV setup if I cannot reduce or remove my current provider? Just so I can have internet access on my HDTV? Could I not just do this with a Mac Mini?

    I don't know, why add a mini to your TV at all either, as it is more expensive.

  1. davlab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    That's your choice...

    If you want the programming available on cable, then you will have to pay for it. By providing your own "DVR" you can avoid paying the typical $15 per box monthly fee. If the media available via the internet (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and aggregators like Boxee & Plex) and over-the-air digital TV is enough for you, then sure, dump your cable company.

    BUT, most cable companies will only sell you internet access if you also subscribe to cable TV also, or they charge you a lot more.

    I'm looking forward to switching over to our new municipal fiber service (Lafayette LA http://www.lusfiber.com) next week. 50 Mbps service is $57.95 (less than half of Version FiOS) and you get free 100 Mbps peer to peer connection to anyone on LUS fiber.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Plantronics Rig Surround 7.1 headset

Trying to capture the true soundscape of video games can be a daunting task. Looking to surround-sound home theater options, users hav ...

Kenu Airframe +

Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Aiframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this ye ...

Adesso Compagno X Bluetooth keyboard

The shift from typing on physical keyboards to digital versions on smartphones and tablets hasn't been an easy for many consumers. Fro ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News