Senior executives working on the new Google TV platform have said that Sony has not got exclusive access to it. Analysts are also saying that the roll out of Google TV will put pressure on Microsoft, who have struggled to deliver any benefits for Australian consumers with their Windows Media Centre offering.
During a live cross to Google HQ in the USA, senior Google executives said that the new platform is open standard and that several other TV manufacturers are already working on delivering new Google TV-based devices including both TV’s and Blu-ray players. Among them is believed to be LG, Panasonic and Samsung.
Google said that the first Google TV devices will come from Sony by the end of 2010, and that international markets will not see a Google TV till 2011 due to geographic requirements, in-country regulations relating to TV broadcasts, and local program guides.
Google TV product manager, Risui Chandra, did not say whether an ad skipping button was a part of the Google TV offering, however, he did admit that Google was set to deliver a far more concise and targeted advertising to a Google TV viewer.
He said that Google was keen to work with TV data capture company, Nielsen, rather than compete with them.
“We see Google TV as an open platform TV offering, we are currently working with several vendors, however, we are unable to announce any timelines for the launch of devices from other vendors. We will have the Sony, Google TV in the market later this year in the USA and 2011 into International markets”.
By leveraging an on-demand video model it not only avoids the problem of skippable advertising but it also allows for the kind of tracking and customisation of ads that we see with Google’s web-based advertising models.
When asked whether Google was setting themselves up as a global TV station, Chandra said that right now, Google was more interested in developing the Google TV platform, which will allow developers and content producers to get paid for content appearing on television screens. It means that Google can happily open up the software platform.
Unlike Microsoft’s Media Centre edition (for example), the money isn’t to be made with software sales, but rather by delivering an experience that is good enough for people to keep watching and the advertising money to keep rolling in.
An Analyst attending a Sydney event said “This is very exciting times. Microsoft has struggled to deliver with their Windows Media Centre despite it being in the market for several years. It now appears that Google is set to deliver an offering that will take it right up to Microsoft. They have also managed to convince Sony to join them in the development of the new Google TV offering which if taken up by other TV manufacturers will see open standard software inside a TV delivering TV programs, music and applications, something that Microsoft has struggled to do because their software is seen as being buggy as well as fat and cumbersome for TV vendors”.