Google TV doesn’t promise to be anything, so you can’t be shocked when it just doesn’t do much.
The slick search box, the Chrome App with the FULL INTERNET Experience , the (limited) Android Apps are all there. It is 100% honest in its marketing of the product, but why do i feel like a dip$hit for buying it. The device turns on with a slick Google TV animation and it loads up with a very generic Android 2.1 GUI. Simple and clean is good, but too simple and too clean isn’t. It just doesn’t feel like a completed product at this point. It feels very beta at this point and i feel like i paid $400 to be a beta tester.
The search box overlay is cool looking and it is nice to have the option to just do a quick google search whenever i want, but it doesn’t feel very natural. I think that it may get better when the devices are cell phone controlled because i can txt message a whole lot quicker than i can type with the Sony remote keypad. Doing a Goolgle search in the middle of a program isn’t all that “awesome” either. I typed in “MODERN FAMILY” and it showed me results for future showings of the show, online video results , web results and the ability DVR my favorite shows IF you have a DISH NETWORK DVR. Pretty neat, but I want a link that takes me to watch episodes on ABC.com. This is GoogleTv and it should have a slick interface that takes you to a page that loads up all your favorite shows that are available free online. At least send me directly to the Shows online landing page.
The Good –
- Websites that are optimized for the Google TV experience. Some of the interfaces are wonderful. This device will only get better as more website are optimized.
- The Twitter App – This app is similar to the new Twitter experience that was recently launched.
- The full internet experience – Via the Chrome browser, you can view nearly any website.
The Bad –
- The Sony Blu ray box requires an A/V receiver or a cable/satellite box that has an HDMI output.
- The lack of App support until 2011 – No Android store open and it lacks the ability to manually add apps.
- No Hulu support – It worked at first, but they blocked it.
- The basic first generation Netflix interface – Not nearly as functional as the PS3 or Wii. The same interface that is available on low end Blu ray players.
- No quicktime support – Not many plugins are supported as of today. This may change in the future.
- The Controls – the controls are different depending on if you are on a website, within an app or within the Android GUI.
- Android 2.1 – No Froyo
The Outlook –
- I have no doubt that this device will be awesome in the future. This is going to be a great product in the next six months. This is NOT a great product now and will not be one until Apps are developed to take advantage of the Android operating system mashup with your HDTV.
Verdict – This device is being returned to the store. This device isn’t ready for PRIMETIME!!!!!