Google TV beta reviews bad: Box release date delayed?

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By Richi Jennings. December 20, 2010.

The Google TV project might be in trouble. Manufacturers have been asked to hold off showing their products at next month's CES 2011. The reviews of the initial, 'perpetual-beta' devices weren't good, and Google faces other challenges. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if this will delay the release date of the next wave of products.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Chemical holiday greetings, from Hamish "hot grot" Renton...


Dean Takahashi ventures to report:

Google wants to refine the software since the first offerings got weak reviews. ... The delay doesn’t bode well for Google’s foray into consumer electronics, where it will face entrenched rivals such as ... cable companies [and] devices such as Apple TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console.


Google still doesn’t have programming agreements with a number of content providers, who have blocked access to their shows. ... Google TV has access to Netflix, YouTube or Amazon movies as well as regular TV. But NBC, CBS, ABC, and Hulu have blocked people from watching full-length shows on their web sites using Google TV.

  Chris Davies writes of "fears that the system is not yet ready for primetime":

Google’s hardware partners – including Toshiba, LG and Sharp – have agreed to put their launch plans on hold as the search giant refines the Android-based Google TV software, based on mediocre feedback.


However, Samsung and Vizio are both still expected to launch products running Google TV, though Vizio’s devices will only be open to private viewings. ... Google released an update for Google TV last week that addressed some of the more common user complaints, but analysts are suggesting that it could be the holiday 2011 season before the platform gains traction.

  Alexander Grundner grumbles thusly:

Google TV’s legs have been taken out because TV networks don’t want to allow them access to their web content. ... It seems many of them aren’t interested in creating TV-optimized web apps that any browser-enabled set-top can use — a loss, really, for everyone in the space. ... These same networks had no issue with a new device type like the iPad, which they proactively created platform specific apps for.


Personally, I can see how Google TV isn’t all that appealing at the moment ... $149 seems like the right price point (Logitech Revue retails for $249) ... it doesn’t compete capability-wise with a dedicated DLNA/UPnP media streamer ... and there’s no compelling platform apps to install yet. ... A tough sell for someone who’s already interested in an Apple TV, Roku, Boxee Box, WD TV Live Plus/Hub, or TiVo Premiere.

  Lucian Parfeni is more succinct:

TV manufacturers have now missed this holiday season.


The consumer electronics market ... poses challenges that [Google] is not accustomed to. [It] has a philosophy of pushing products in beta and then frequently add small fixes, updates and new features, building the product as it goes. But that approach may not be the best one for devices which people expect to work and be complete out of the box.

Stewart Meagher agrees:

Google is infamous for putting everything it ever does out as a 'perpetual beta' leaving its disgruntled customers to iron out the wrinkles in half-baked products.


Expecting customers to beta test consumer electronics products which were sold at a premium price might be a bit of an ask.

Charles Arthur makes comparisons with past attempts:

The question now is whether Google is going to fall into the chasm that has swallowed so many internet TV efforts. Remember Microsoft's WebTV? No? Or how ... Joost? An archaeologist of the internet could probably find dozens of ... TV efforts, but none has come to anything much.

And Finally...

Chemical holiday greetings, from Hamish "hot grot" Renton

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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