Google TV hasn’t yet been the joyous disruptor of big media and cable it was hyped up to be. But then nor have any of the other set-top boxes it is competing with.
Will Google ultimately be the winner here? Eric Schmidt thinks so.
There are dozens of connected set-top boxes offering access to television shows, movies, and other video content. With more being added to the burgeoning list every month.
Apple TV and Google TV are arguably the two biggest names in the sector. But neither has done anything more than leave a barely-noticeable scratch in the side of the industry they’re trying to disrupt.
The big problem facing both of them, as well as all of the competition, is content. Namely, cable companies putting their hefty feet down andstamping out accessibility from these devices. Especially for those unwilling to pay for the services in question.
Despite this there is still an air of inevitability hanging over the marketplace. One that Google intends to make the most of.
During the Le Web conference, Google chairman Eric Schmidt stated, “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google (NSDQ: GOOG) TV embedded in it.” But is he right or just hyping Google TV up to a level beyond its real capabilities?
Schmidt is certainly optimistic, likely over-optimistic, on the chance of Google TV being so prevalent just six months from now. But looking further ahead he may well be justified to think the way he does.
The fact is that while smart TVs are becoming somewhat standard, there needs to be a cohesive platform for all of them. And that’s what Google TV provides. In the same way Android is all things to all men (or CE manufacturers) so Google TV may become the go-to platform for television manufacturers.
Google doesn’t stand still, either. Its early attempts at products are usually lackluster, disappointing affairs. But the company throws people, ideas, and resources at development until its products improve. And popularity comes with those improvements. As is the case with Chrome, or even Google+ to a lesser extent.
It will take longer than Schmidt thinks for Google TV to be king, but it should ultimately be able to achieve this position. Then it’ll just be a case of persuading the old guard of media and cable companies to come along for the ride. Which is the real battle yet to come.