It’s not a good sign when the company inventing an “exciting new product” releases video after video quite visibly searching for a way to explain why we should care about their product.
Yesterday, quite soon after the initial announcement, Google released a new video trying to explain the consumer value of GoogleTV.
I criticized their initial announcement because they didn’t reveal much consumer value from GoogleTV – certainly not enough value to spend $400 on a set top box or over $1K on a new TV.
So, I thought maybe they’d figured it out now and we’d see it in the new video. But this video doesn’t help. This video makes GoogleTV look to be little more than an enhanced DVR cross-bred with WebTV. Adding a nice ability to customize menu’s and access to YouTube. But little else.
Worse, the video isn’t clear about fundamentals: do I still get all my programming through the cable pipeline? Google drops a quick aside saying GoogleTV has “everything you get today”. But this deserves detailed attention because internet bandwidth isn’t capable of delivering today all the TV viewing through the internet connection for the mass market.
The video is also quite cluttered with very fast perusing of confusing looking lists. Probably Google trying to minimize the complexity we’d face trying to search for programming using the internet.
The video does hint at a possible pool of tremendous value: Droid Apps. But, they drop the hint and don’t follow it up. Perhaps they don’t know how to improve the TV viewing experience themselves, so they’re hoping that App developers will figure it out for them. But this could be the hail mary pass of technology announcements. (We used to call it VaporWare. As in, “It’s not quite what you want today. But our App developers will make it better. Trust us.”)
So in the end, this video is only marginally more useful than the truly silly ones they released on announcement day. And, I continue to wonder if Google has a solid vision for GoogleTV or just a desperate desire to get ad revenues from the TV pool.
Copyright 2010 – Doug Garnett