Despite positive early attention, Google TV wasn’t a hit when it debuted in October, 2010. Surrounded by less expensive and easier set-top box competitors, the Google TV interface looked complicated and not worth the price. Google is aiming to change that perception with its recent update to the platform, called Honeycomb for Google TV (or just Google TV 2.0, if you prefer).
At the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Shanna Prevé, business development lead for Google TV, sat down for a red carpet interview to discuss the platform’s changes. This interview preceded Logitech’s crippled release of the software update.
Prevé noted that Google still has a long way to go in improving the Google TV experience, but sees this software update as an important first step. The company listened to candid feedback from its users, learning that it didn’t just have to make the user interface simpler, it had to make Google TV delightful.
“What we’re trying to do is bring additional functionality without making it too hard to use,” said Prevé.
Google’s hardware partners are in charge of bringing the Google TV platform update to consumers. Sony was first to deliver it, while Logitech delivered the update later (read “Logitech Updates the Revue (Sort Of)” for much more on that).
Besides spurring viewer interest, Google is trying to entice software developers and online content providers with this release. It’s now easy for developers to create for the Google TV platform, Prevé said, and get their videos in front of Google TV viewers.
“The key takeaway is that it is finally a platform for people to be able to use,” Prevé said.
Connected TVs promise to be a big trend for 2012 (and should play out better than 2011’s big trend, 3D TVs). The industry is seeing hardware makers and developers try a variety of products and make a dizzying amount of content deals. What will click with the average consumer is still anyone’s guess.
“We just don’t know how it’s going to play out. We’re all kind of experimenting right now and it’s so early. It took 80 years for the television market to get where it is today. It’s certainly not going to be figured out by 2012,” noted Prevé.
Besides pointing out what Google is doing to improve the Google TV experience, Prevé also noted what it isn’t doing. It isn’t looking to other platforms and trying to compete with them. Instead, it’s focusing on making its own platform better. And it isn’t pursuing original content deals, preferring a more open approach.
For more from Prevé on the future of Google TV (and why people love a certain high-quality fireplace app) view the full interview below:
These Streaming Media Red Carpet Interviews are sponsored by Front Porch Digital.