Google TV falters

The battle between Google TV and Apple TV took another turn this week and there are still no clear victors.

I recently opted for Apple TV because I wanted the original version but wasn’t prepared to pay the price. The re-release and price reduction to £99.99 may prove beneficial in the war as it snapped up early buyers.

Although not instantly blown away by Apple TV, I recognise the potential in what’s to come. Initially, the UK version does not give you access to TV programmes, just films and your own iTunes library. But, that will come in time in addition to apps or extensions similar to that on the iPhone.

Meanwhile, Google TV crept out via 3rd party hardware in the form of a Logitech box and a Sony TV. It has instantly hit problems with getting major networks to sign up. This problem is obviously plaguing Apple but being UK based, it poses an important question.

Why are we waiting for deals to be struck with certain networks over here? Surely, if we’ve already had to shell out £142.50 for a TV licence, a BBC iPlayer app for Apple TV and Google TV must be a mere formality? The consumer surely doesn’t have to pay again for the content. Are we just waiting for the upgrade in software for all this to click into place?

Will it arrive in the form of IOS4.2 and finally marry up the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV? Apple will continue to forge ahead but Google TV seems to have hit a few roadblocks.

I anticipate the release of Google TV but I think it will be at least 6 months before it hits the UK. It has been developed as an addition to your current package and the growing market in the UK may well be as resistant as the US. Freeview may well be it’s saviour over here but I can’t see Sky, Virgin or BT allowing Google to access their technology when they could easily build their own.

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be long before the phone replaces yet another commodity in our lives, the faithful remote control. They are destined for the bin as touch screen apps will reduce overheads and allow limitless possibilities.

For now though, we continue to observe these exciting developments online, well, via the comfort of my Apple TV.

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