updated 07:40 pm EST, Wed November 10, 2010
Fox website blocks Google TV browser
Google today faced another major setback as viewers discovered that Fox had joined SyFy and other majors in blocking Google TV. Anyone trying to watch Bones, The Simpsons and other shows on Fox.com are given an error claiming the content is "not compatible with your device." Fox was thought to have been uncertain but now appeared to have settled on banning the platform's Chrome web browser.
The decision now leaves Google TV with virtually no access to video from the major TV networks. Most others already block Google TV and are believed to have objected for protective reasons. ABC and NBC have purportedly argued that Google wasn't doing enough to filter out pirate video from search results. CBS and the multi-network service Hulu are more likely to have been concerned about encouraging paid services, such as iTunes downloads or Hulu Plus.
Viewers still have the option of viewing video from elsewhere around the web and from launch partner Turner's TBS and TNT, but the move deprives Google TV of much of the major content it had counted on in promoting the service as the best of both Internet and conventional TV. Google has repeatedly insisted that it's not trying to encourage "cord-cutters," or those who drop regular TV entirely for Internet video. However, it incorporated and heavily promoted Flash in the TV browser so that users could search for both the Internet and traditional TV sources from the same sites.
The move also holds a level of irony, as the new Apple TV now has much more access to major studio TV shows despite the absence of a browser and of Flash. Apple only successfully negotiated deals with CBS and Fox for its 99-cent rentals, but both remain intact where Google has been blocked from both. Apple's effort to support streaming purchased TV shows and other video from the local network also gives it wider access where most Google TV hardware has little to no support for sharing protected content from nearby computers. [via GTVHub]