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GoogleTV, AppleTV and the Battle For The Living Room 226

An anonymous reader pointed us to an article talking about Google TV and AppleTV challenging the major networks and taking their place in your living room. It'll be a tough battle, amusingly waged on cable company wires in many major markets.
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GoogleTV, AppleTV and the Battle For The Living Room

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:12AM (#33521124)

    The AppleTV vs. GoogleTV doesn't fly well with my demographic (The coveted 18-34). I have a video game console. All my friends have video game consoles. They do the same crap. It applies to my mother who loves the Roku Box I got her. Until they're ready to amuse me. I don't care...but then again, I don't have cable because I'm a pirating bastard who hates commercials. So maybe no one wants me to use their device...

    On a sidenote, UpNp/dlna ftw.

  • by js3 ( 319268 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:14AM (#33521144)

    Is it just me or it's all hype and nothing to show for. Just because it has "google" and "apple" in it doesn't mean squat. They aren't relevant at all when it comes to TV.

  • Youtube better (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:18AM (#33521232)

    This is good news for both Google and Apple. Bad news for the networks. But lets face it, when YouTube with its piano playing cats, hyperactive teenagers and snippets of prime time TV manages to outperform the major networks, the major networks have only themselves to blame!

    Cats? I use Youtube for instructional videos and things like that. Reading about something, anything, and don't understand it? Somewhere there's a video that shows you how to do it. Want to know what is the real deal that Wall Street cut with the Congressmen []? Go to Youtube.

    Because network TV just rehashes the same shit.

    PBS turned into the Antiques, Beatles, Wayne Dyer, Suzy Orman, Ken Burns network.

  • Quality (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Stele ( 9443 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:19AM (#33521262) Homepage

    Until I can get everything I want in 1080P with 5.1 surround I'm not interested.

  • Shake up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kdogg73 ( 771674 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:29AM (#33521438) Homepage

    I pretty much basically watch public television (PBS) and Netflix. I don't have cable or satellite service.

    The media is prime for a shake up. But I'm not sure anyone can deliver us from hundreds of channels of crap. I mean, if Hollywood is already out of ideas, now banking on remakes, neither Apple or Google can help much, but only serve us classic reruns with a better user experience. :/

  • TVs not Boxes (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:32AM (#33521506)

    Neither will win in the end as all TV manufacturers will include similar options built-in.
    Google and Apple will need to produce their own TVs rather than just boxes to plugin.

  • by ThomasFlip ( 669988 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:34AM (#33521540)
    This is why I think we may see Apple (even Google) move into the console gaming market. Apple probably won't create a console with bleeding edge hardware to compete with Sony and Microsoft, but what I do see them doing is throwing in decent 3d graphics capabilities into an AppleTV or something similar, and potentially competing with the Wii. I think with Apples app distribution network, it's too good of an opportunity to pass up. And as a side note, look at They already have a section for iPhone games.
  • mythtv... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nblender ( 741424 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#33521676)
    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out... My household has been a bit of an experiment as I switched to Mythtv about 5 or 6 years ago... First with satellite receivers hooked to capture cards and most recently cable TV tuners hooked to firewire... MythTV with all of its warts is actually relatively good... I've found though, that I can get higher quality and more current programming from the Bitorrent Channel than I can from any of the cable channels so an account on a few private trackers with a client that can do RSS feeds and a seedbox has pretty much supplanted our need for the cable connection... In fact, I'd sooner download a show than let my Mythbackend record it from cable... I still pay the cable bill, though.. The bitorrent channel doesn't get Antiques Roadshows and other shows that my wife watches... Plus, I sort of justify it to myself that I'm still paying for the content; I just choose to get a 3rd party (the scene) to de-commercialize it for me...

    Wife Acceptance Factor is pretty high.. In fact, she hates LiveTV now... My son has grown up not really knowing what a commercial is.. When we visited the inlaws this summer, he was watching TV with his grandfather... A commercial came on and he was looking for the skip button.. Our livingroom at home sports a moderately sized LCD with an Acer Revo bolted to the back on the VESA mount. No cables are visible and the remote is a wireless keyboard. No stereo cabinet...

    If I could get all of the shows I watch in reasonable quality (720p) automatically sent to a local storage device where I can play them back any time, and as many times as I want, I'd happily pay $70-$80/month (plus price of internet connectivity) for the privilege... I'm dubious that this is going to happen however. It'll probably be substantially more expensive, limit the number of times I can view a show, and if my hardware ever fails, I will have to repurchase all of my content.

    If only they'd focus on giving consumers what they want; they'd make a ton more money.
  • TW is Already Gone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrTripps ( 1306469 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:52AM (#33521838)
    I canceled my cable TV service a few months ago. My living room TV gets by with an antenna (whose picture is better then cable), PS3, PlayOn, Netflix, and uTorrent.
  • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:59AM (#33522004)

    I also only pay for cable internet access but not TV. I think it'd only be like, $20 a month more to get basic cable TV, but I'm not $20 worth of interested in television and won't pay for it.

  • by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#33522248)

    The fly in Apple's pie is that they can't get all the content brought together in a cohesive manner which allows the phobe to just watch what they want. Apple's walled garden is to blame. Apple would have to sign with everyone, and that's just not possible. As it stands it has two. ABC includes Disney, but two isn't enough to make a success.

    Google on the other hand can partner with anyone without forcing them behind a walled garden. Google is about open access to all web video. Apple is about closed walled garden content that they can sell. In the long run Google wins. Google's TV and Apple TV are correlate directly to the Android's open nature vs. Apple's iOS which is closed and will never be opened.

  • Re:UI? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:24AM (#33522432)

    who let this guy on /.?

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:33PM (#33523574) Homepage Journal

    they will loose.

    Look, the living room is a conduit for sales, not a sale in and of itself. all these companies would do far better to cooperate and have a good standard that lets the consumer decided on how it uses the media. Then each individual company can try to capitalize on that. No company is going to win over enough people that will want to hand over all media channel to them.

  • Re:mythtv... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Zequel ( 1696314 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:52PM (#33523886)

    .. My son has grown up not really knowing what a commercial is...

    My 3 year old daughter the other day said the next program 'just came on!'
    My wife and I were wondering about it for a second -- my daughter was so accustomed to us playing dvr'd shows, she didn't understand live TV.

  • Re:Net neutrality (Score:2, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:45PM (#33524744) Journal

    Which companies would be so stupid? Well let's see:

    - Comcast
    - Cox
    - Cablevision
    - Time-Warner

    In fact in 2009 these companies already met with one another, and agreed to set up a new CATV portal site that would only be accessible to cable customers. You would type in your customer number plus passcode, and gain access to free cable programming. Else you would be blocked. NEXT they laid pressure on Cable Channels by telling them they need to stop providing the programs for free (,, etc), because it was the cable companies that PAID for these programs via subscriber fees. The cable companies claimed their funding of these shows gave them first rights to distribution, and virtually all the channels have agreed.

    While we've all been sleeping in front of our TVs, CRTs, or LCDs, the cable companies have quietly signed deals to lock-up these shows behind their own subscriber website. The final nail in the coffin will be enacted in 2011, when the "cable subscribers only" website goes live and the free viewing disappears. So yeah. They have taken up arms against Google, Apple, and the viewers to make sure we cannot see Cable TV online, except via the CATV website. They are powerful and not the least bit intimidated.

    And what's worse: Because they are government-created monopolies, there's not a damn thing we can do to stop them. We have as little choice as deciding which electric company or natural gas company we want. The guys in Washington DC may be able to help, but I'm not holding my breath, given their tendency to favor media megacorp protectionism (ACTA, the new Online Copyright Czar, FBI crackdowns on file-sharing, et cetera).

    Aside -

    I wonder why Microsoft does not try to revive WebTV? I had one of them in the late 90s, and it was crap because lo-definition analog sets made reading the internet difficult (color blur), but now we have high-definition sets that can produce images as clear as a Super VGA monitor. WebTV could succeed this time.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.