updated 09:00 pm EST, Mon November 8, 2010
SyFy latest to block Google TV browser
Viewers discovered this weekend that SyFy has begun blocking Google TV devices from its site. The NBC-owned channel began telling users that video is not "currently available on this device." It joins blocks by other major studios, including NBC itself as well as ABC and CBS. Hulu has blocked Google TV from its free access since before launch.
The main channels left allowing access are primarily cable stations that have either benefited the most from Internet video or which were partners for the Google TV launch. Daily Show host Comedy Central still allows Google TV, as do launch partner Turner's channels TBS and TNT. Fox and PBS are two of the only free-to-air networks that currently allow unrestricted access.
Google has had a rough start to the platform, which it originally pitched as a means to combine the best features of both traditional TV with Internet access. The Android-based software has faced stiff resistance from conventional TV providers that still make the majority of their income on TV ads and on transmission fees, which Google TV potentially jeopardizes by encouraging "cost-cutters" who scale back or cancel TV service.
The new Apple TV doesn't have the option of web browsing but has had more access to TV shows despite encouraging a switch away from traditional TV altogether. Apple has had its direct TV show rental choices limited to ABC and Fox, but it can also stream shows from many channels through a local network that would be blocked to Google. [via GigaOM]