For Google TV’s sake, we really hope Apple announces a new Apple TV this Tuesday

We might live in the land of Android ’round these parts, but we still do have our eyes and ears on the competition. With that, our interests were immediately piqued when we heard Apple could be bringing a new Apple TV at their upcoming product announcement event (alongside new iPhone models, as well as a possible refresh for the iPad line).

apple_tv

According to iSource, BYD Precision Manufacture — a new supplier for Apple — has reportedly sent three shipments to Cupertino, all of which have been described as “set-top boxes.” While that alone isn’t enough to make us draw any solid conclusion, this would seem to suggest Apple is getting ready to refresh their Apple TV line (something we haven’t seen happen for quite some time).

With that, there isn’t much known about the devices, but this does pose interesting questions should Apple decide to drop a new device in a few short days. For one, where is Google?


Chromecast is cool, but what about Google TV?

One thing we know to be true is that Google definitely is still thinking about TV. The problem, though, is that they no longer appear to be thinking about TV the way they were when the Google TV platform was first unveiled. The company recently launched the Chromecast, an HDMI dongle that could receive content from your mobile devices and PCs over WiFi (read our Chromecast review here).

chromecast

The problem with Chromecast is that the experience is rather gimped at the moment. Google has only enabled a few of their apps with Chromecast support, and have provided minimal support for PCs with the ability to cast a Chrome tab to your TV. That said, Google seems to be purposely circumventing any attempt to let this device spread its wings and become a full-on media machine.

Google’s motives for their current wall-gardened approach still aren’t clear (one theory is that they want to get their content providers situated first), though members of the team have assured everyone that they won’t be keeping the cuffs on for long. We can’t say whether or not their promise will eventually hold up, but you can be sure we’ll be holding them to it.

With that, we still have to ask — what about Google TV? If Google is going to limit what we’re able to do with Chromecast, why aren’t they doing more to make Google TV the viable platform it was once promised to be? There’s no secret the whole thing appears to be on life support right now, with set-top boxes launching only sparingly, and with Google doing absolutely nothing to promote it.

We’ve got the Nexus program for phones and tablets. We’ve got the ChromeBook Pixel to promote ChromeOS. Where’s the super awesome Google-made set-top box for Google TV that will get people excited for this platform again? Where are the updates to add killer features that will make Google TV the must-have product in an already-crowded living room?


Can Apple light a fire beneath Google?

Competition usually breeds innovation, excellence, and other great things consumers benefit from. While Apple has been a bit lackadaisical on the TV side of things, it doesn’t appear they’ll be sitting idle for too long.

If Apple truly is bringing a new TV box to their event this upcoming Monday, we’ll blasphemously wish them the best, because it might be the only thing that will get Google to take TV seriously again. We don’t want to see Google TV die, and Chromecast in its current form definitely isn’t the answer to any of the problems Google’s currently facing.

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For now, the only thing we can do is keep our fingers crossed that we’re surprised with good news at an event in the near future, kind of like how Google surprisingly brought more than just the Nexus 7 to their last device unveiling.

You can bet we’ll be keeping our eyes on Silicone Valley this upcoming Tuesday, September 10th (exhaustive coverage of which can be found over at iSource.com). Anyone else hoping Apple will do something to make Google wake the slumbering beast that is Google TV?

[iSource via GTVSource]

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  • iandouglas

    I believe the killer feature of what Google TV should really have would create more of a DVR product to compete with the likes of Tivo. Store shows etc on local storage, sure, but also push it Google Drive so you can stream your stuff from anywhere. (or set the DVR like the Cloud Printer where it periodically queries a server for connection requests). Use our existing cable lineup, or work with media partners to give us “a la carte” channel access.

    Google TV as a platform still has potential, but with so many smart TVs coming out, I’m not sure we really need a web browser, etc., on a TV, just more intelligent search apps that can play your media. Heck, they should buy the XBMC project and integrate that into it, too, to stream your content from other network drives or computers in your home.

    • Kristoff119

      Pipe dream I’d say, due to enough concerns over protection of media connected with Google. Not saying that wouldn’t be wonderful though.

  • agl82

    I just use my Sony Google TV currently for streaming Netflix movies, watching YouTube clips, and streaming songs from Google Music. I occasionally surf on Chrome but that’s about it. I guess I just don’t expect much more from a “Smart TV” platform. Works fine for me. Most of the apps I’ve installed from the Play Store have been crap.

    • He’s Alright

      I would imagine that this is they way the majority of people use their Google TV. I have never used the Primetime thing. Like you, it’s pretty much for Netflix, YouTube, and renting movies from Google Play (I hate giving Comcast more money), and I am fine with that. The only issue I have with the Sony GS7 is I bought it when it was first released, and paid over $250.00. I think that is a litte too much for Netflix and watching people getting hit in the nuts.

    • Lennatron

      I have a Sony Google TV set top box too and pretty much use it for the sams purposes. Its great to make a dumb TV smart but if you already have a Smart TV a GTV set top box will add NO functionality.

  • chumawumba

    Apple TV rules!

    • Xx1WarChild1xX

      “said no one
      … EVER!!!”

      • chumawumba

        Maybe i’m on the wrong forum

    • Xx1WarChild1xX

      Yeah probably

  • endinyal

    Where Google failed miserably with their GTV version is that is was geared towards tech heads, in addition to pissing off the content providers. Google doesn’t need Apple. Google needs to get its collective heads out of its a$$ and stop thinking they know better than everyone how it should be. It will take more than Kevin Bacon to put GoogleTV back on the map.

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    Now that I’ve got the Chromecast dongle, I’ve found that I’m not even using my GoogleTV much at all, since the main thing we used it for was Youtube and Music anyway.

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      Pipe dream I’d say, due to enough concerns over protection of media connected with Google. Not saying that wouldn’t be wonderful though. We need more open dvrs, but with HD having changed for added content protection, without the DVR being direct from the subscription TV provider, you’re out of luck.

      • Kristoff119

        I’m flattered, idiot.

  • http://youtu.be/GvPlAyTG4ik?hd=1 1PhoneDoesnt.com

    Google show go oem with GTV and offer a box secondary to that. If all the TVs had built in Android of sorts, just like the majority of phones, how is this not a HUGE win for Google?…

    Google please dump chrome OS, dump GTV OS, GOOGLE DUMP ANY OS THAT DOESN’T SAY ANDROID IN THE NAME, geez how hard is that lol… It is sooo obvious that Android IS the one OS to rule them all, so do just that Google! :)

    • Kristoff119

      Google TV is Android.

      • http://youtu.be/GvPlAyTG4ik?hd=1 1PhoneDoesnt.com

        not my point, point is to go oem like the Android business model. Concentrating on getting TV makers to replace their crap UI with Android.

  • CGS

    I hope to hear Google announce something to indicate Google TV is still alive soon, I’d like to invest in it.

  • Dean Politis

    Google needs a Nexus TV. It seems whenever Google creates a Nexus device that is when the devices come out that exploits Android. It happened with both phones and tablets.

  • Max

    the best solution i see is google doing a 2 pronged approach, cheap lightweight chromecast for average viewing, especially with apps like aircast is very powerful, and then gtv becomes a full on android gaming and home media center, it’ll never have the power to beat ps4/xbox1, but the wii u runs some pretty weak specs, and a lot of the apps are terrible (im looking at u hulu, nintendo browser)

  • Dean Politis

    I love Chromecast, but it does not do Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus yet. I use Google TV for Amazon Instant Video.

    I think Microsoft XBox One is more of a threat to Google TV than Apple TV. XBox is one of Microsoft’s better products and will almost certainly reach a critical mass user base. It sounds like it could fulfill the promise that Google TV has failed to meet. Watch out Google! Microsoft could actually take your idea and run with it.

    • malcmilli

      i dont love my chromecast. I opened it with excitement to find the chrome tab video stream to be quite terrible for streaming full screen video… standard and HD produced lag, stutter, and unsynced audio. I know it says beta but come on.

      • Max

        Give aircast a try, and you’ll see the power it holds within.

        Aircast sends raw video and uses the chromecast to process it. (this feature was already in the chromecast software, he just tapped into for the app)
        versus
        Chrome tab mirroring which processes everything and then sends uncompressed data.

        chromecast biggest problem was not telling people how early of beta this is.

        • malcmilli

          i thought they blocked aircast?

          • Fred Marshall

            They did :/

    • Max

      Amazon prime has a terrible selection of free content. Hulu would be useful, but hulu is always slow to develop.

      Xbox one is expensive (initial cost + xbox gold required), xbox gold isn’t that expensive, but the principal is ridiculous, paywall to access the internet? we can’t allow companies to think ridiculous stuff like that is ok.

      When the original xbox came out, it was a game changer, it had heaps of power and video, and games that had real a.i.s.

      Where google could really make a unique value proposition, entering the gaming market, is with the cloud. Come out with insane cloud gaming performance. Also it’d be complicated but place shifting ala slingbox, could be legally possible with the proper drm. Even better if you sling from the cloud instead of wasting power running home servers.

    • HeatFan954

      I cannot stand Hulu since they charge people for streaming videos, but still place advertising in videos. Netflix doesn’t do that.

  • Modman

    Apple sucks you need all their devices to have seamless integration. So far to me all streaming devices are the same roku xbox360 chrome cast. Why pay a fortune for apple crap when all you watch is netflix and hulu plus anyway.

    • TishTash

      So articulate

    • Mike_from_Saskatoon

      If you’re talking about Apple TV, it’s not much more than the Roku, and the reviews say it has a superior menu and usability.

      I don’t know about accessing your PC’s movies, or hooking up an USB or an external HDD though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

        The main problem with the current gen of Apple TV is that they still haven’t gotten it hacked. And if you think there’s a lot of functionality in a stock Apple, you have another thing coming.

        • Mike_from_Saskatoon

          There are a LOT of people out there who have no interest at all in hacking their devices.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

            And there are a lot who do. Simply being able to stream video a la XBMC is a core functionality that should be in every one of these devices (And is why I’m not interested in a Chromecast either). They can do it, but won’t for various reasons. Many people rush out and sheepily buy Apple TVs, only to realize that they’re crippled by stupid rules. Some are perfectly happy with them. Others aren’t, but are locked in to the ecosystem. I’m just glad I’m not one of those. My Android stick works perfectly as a TV device and XBMC is a great application that handles pretty much all of my needs, outside of Netflix.

          • Mike_from_Saskatoon

            I agree with most of what you say. My problem is with the snooty attitude that some tinkerers feel towards those who don’t want to tinker.
            There are products for those who want to tinker under the hood, and products that are perfectly fine for those who don’t want to tinker. Both segments have good options.
            Remember how Mac users get all douche-y about PC users? That’s how some of these snooty tinkerers come across about everyone else.

  • gmaninvan

    I personally hope the rumors of a game console from Google come to fruition. This would be awesome since it would dramatically undercut the PS4 and Xbox one and, although not competing in the same arena, would likely be a better product than the Ouya

    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/pratikthakkar Pratik Thakkar

      May be Google is thinking to merge both platforms (Google TV + Game Console) to make a killer device… Lets hope for the best. Come on Google!

      • gmaninvan

        Well it makes sense. They have made it clear they want the TV for ever. They already have a slew of games on Android. It would likely be a low cost console that would sell for max $200

  • Modman

    Still don’t count the ouya out. Its got awesome hackability. Apple TV blows and it’s overpriced.

    • TishTash

      “Blows,” “sucks,” “crap” — good to see the American English vocabulary going to bat with the big boys. Replace them with “underwhelms,””constrains,” and “devices” and instantly watch your level of discourse improve immensely.

  • Jay Holm

    I don’t feel a need for Google Tv with Chromecast on the market. But Google needs to do much, much better at keeping Chromecast in stock!!!

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  • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

    If Apple launches a TV, it’s the end of google.

  • drx1

    Apple iOS TV rules!

    • DanielMcCarthy

      Keep telling yourself that, meanwhile you can’t stream a good portion of common media formats through AirPlay

  • InspectorGadget80

    You guys don’t sound like PHANDROID to me.and its too early

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