Will media giants doom Google TV to failure?

With old-guard television powers blocking its every move, will the tech titan be forced out of the boob-tube business?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced Google TV in May as the first platform to combine web technology and television.
(Image credit: Corbis)

Viacom has joined Big Media's blockade of Google TV, adding online content from MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon to the programming that Google TV viewers won't be able to see. Every major network and the popular streaming site Hulu have also blocked the technology, which lets users watch Internet video on their televisions, because they fear it "does not adequately protect their programming from piracy." With programming in short supply, retailers are slashing prices of Google TV devices just weeks after they hit stores. Has Google already failed in its bid to take over American living rooms?

Yes, Google TV was doomed from the start: "It appears that Google TV was launched without asking those who would be critical for the survival of the technology," says Daniel Bailey at Conceivably Tech. The product could be better than a similar one from Apple, but "it is clear that the entertainment industry will not support Google just because it is Google." So, "where are the reset and money-back buttons?"

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No, it will grow into itself: "Google TV will mature well over the next few years," says Devindra Hardawar at VentureBeat. The company is taking a risk by trying something "new and different," but eventually it will "figure out ways to appease" the networks. It's dealing with "growing pains" now, but in due time the platform will be "cheap and ubiquitous enough to finally live up to Google's lofty ambition."

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It is too far ahead of its time: "Google TV feels like the future," says Matt Burns at CrunchGear, "but a future that's unattainable and unrealistic." Google TV would be a huge success if the networks and studios put the consumer's best interests first. But as long as they treat Google like "the devil," there will be precious little free programming on Google TV, making the platform "nothing more than a glorified Netflix and Amazon streamer — and an expensive one at that."

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