As of yesterday Logitech has been offering their Revue Google TV set top box for $99. I was at Logitech’s media day where they launched the Revue and I remember the mumblings from the media and analysts when they announced the price of $250. It was as if everyone knew that Logitech clearly priced themselves out of the market. $250 is quite a lot to spend on a product that was truncated at launch.
I was also at Google IO where they first announced and demonstrated Google TV. I remember at the time thinking that this product had potential but that it also had a good deal of hurdles to overcome. The experience from the first Google TV reminded me of many experiences I had with early products in the digital media adapter segment. Many of the products worked to a degree but did not necessarily nail the overall experience.
In fact i’m yet to see a product in the connected TV / Smart TV sector that nails all that a connected TV should be. If I was to nail down what I feel the biggest hindrance to connected TV moving forward it’s Hollywood.
I worked and consulted with the entertainment industry very shortly but long enough to understand how hard it is to work with Hollywood. Ask anyone who has been serious about looking into connected TV solutions and you hear constantly that lack of content is the biggest missing piece.
We are yet to see an offering in the connected TV space that has the depth and breadth of content as our cable or satellite service provider. The main reason for this is because they pay Hollywood and the network studios a massive sum of money to have the rights to broadcast their content.
Generally speaking the Internet is not yet a fully functional substitute for a cable or satellite service provider. Some consumers depend less on things like real time news and sports and can therefore come closer to being able to replace their service providers. Others have no problem waiting days, weeks or month’s to watch their favorite TV shows after they have aired. In some cases you can have your programming needs met from the Internet. Those situations however are the minority not the majority.
For the technology industry to bring to market a full connected TV solution that can replace a TV programming service provider is going to require the help from Hollywood.
For more interesting reading on the subject check out Jared Newman’s article at Techland called “How Google TV Can be Saved.”