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Google TV Review I want my Google TV! So much so that yesterday I cancelled my Logitech Revue pre order, which is currently the only other set top Google TV device available.
(The Revue is set to ship by the end of this month.) Using a DVR This review is different than anything I could find on the Internet, because I not trying to find an addition to my cable TV. I don have cable TV. As I recently outlined in this article, my household has kicked the cable TV habit, sticking it to the Man, saving a bunch of money, and expanding our viewing options. I wasn certain that either of these Google TV devices would work without cable service. Every advertisement I seen for either device states "DVR must be connected to Google TV via HDMI cable." Must it? I got rid of my DVR last month. It turns out, as I suspected, that you don need to have a DVR or cable service to use Google TV. If you already have cable and a DVR, part of the brilliance of the device is that it can control and search your DVR and even display video from your DVR at the same time as it displays web video. Picture in picture has been around for decades and no one uses it. I know I don use it. Fortunately this isn required for Google TV. It is required that your TV have an HDMI input, however, as the Google TV doesn output composite, component or S video. One main difference is that the Sony Google TV comes with a built in Blu Ray player. The Revue comes with a large keyboard and has an optional hand held keyboard available for an additional $129. The Sony comes with a hand held keyboard which works as a universal remote. Because of this, I think the Sony is definitely a better buy. I haven had the small Revue keyboard in my hands, but I can tell you that Sony expertise in making video game controllers (such as for the Playstation 3) really comes through. It was a little bit odd that it requires you to adjust the screen size, then update the Google TV, then adjust the screen size again. No big deal. It took me about 20 minutes to set it up completely, including downloading and installing the first update which is said to take 30 minutes itself. Searching for TV Shows The core feature of the Google TV is supposed to be the ability to search everywhere for TV shows from one location. This would be even better if I had the device connected to a DVR, but it works OK without a DVR. It still will display TV shows pandora jewelry cost that are available over the major networks, even though they aren available online. And if they are available online but only as a podcast, it doesn show them as available to subscribe to. This has got to be a bug. For some reason, when you used the Google TV to search for TV shows, it doesn display any results from podcasts. I eventually used the built in Chrome web browser to find some podcasts which I knew were available and subscribed to them through their web pages. I should point out that the term podcast is often misunderstood with Internet video. Most people think of a podcast as audio only, available to listen to pandora charms new through your iPod. The reality is that the term is used for audio and video files. These files are usually made available through what called an RSS file, which is an easy way for devices such as the Google TV to know when a new file is available. You can subscribe to an RSS feed and your device, whether it is a Google TV, iPod, or other RSS feed aggregator, can notify you when a new episode is available, and possibly download the newest episodes automatically. I think they are doing a dis service to Internet video to continue to call them when these videos often rival the quality of Internet video from the major networks. Eventually, I believe we will all be watching TV from RSS feeds. Instead of staying home on a particular night of the week to watch that one favorite show, we will instead simply get a notification when a new episode of that one favorite show is available, and we can watch it whenever it is most convenient. End of rant. Eventually I discovered that the Google TV has a list of available video podcasts if you view "Queue" and then "Explore." This is not very intuitive and the fact that these podcasts aren displayed in search results is a glaring flaw. Comparing the Google TV to the Apple TV If you read my previous post, then you know that I have had an Apple TV for a few years. It interesting to me that the list of podcasts that the Google TV lists is very similar to the list that the Apple TV lists. Not that I think that Google copied Apple, but instead I believe that these are the best of what available for Internet Video. What I think is interesting here is that while the Apple TV is a closed system, it is suspected that the Google TV is the opposite of this. To get a podcast to appear on an Apple TV, you must create an Apple iTunes account and submit the RSS feed for consideration. This maintains a level of quality as many pandora jewelry earrings feeds are rejected. Google on the other hand starts you with a nice list of podcasts, and then lets you manually subscribe to your own favorite RSS feeds for podcasts. It is suspected that when people subscribe to RSS feeds using their Google TV, Google monitors this and can then add the RSS feed to their preset list of podcasts. This is, at the core, the difference between how Apple and Google operates. There are benefits to both open and closed systems. I fortunate that I have both. The Apple TV uses iTunes for premium content (content that you pay for.) The Google TV in its first iteration has several places where you can buy premium content, and competition is good! Again, I could make the open system and closed system comparisons. Currently, Google Marketplace doesn offer Google TV apps, but there is a notification that says they will be available in 2011. It very cool to have a device which updates itself regularly with new features. It like having Christmas, several times a year! There are a few apps that come pre pandora bracelet with charms installed on the Google TV. Apps like Google Chrome, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter and a few others. I fired up the Netflix and twitter apps. Kinda cool to be able to tweet from your TV, but I can hardly imagine doing this ever again. The Netflix app is very basic, not allowing you to select movies or shows unless they are already in your Netflix queue. They will eventually have to change this. has an interesting feature called "lean back.
" It supposed to allow you to watch videos more like you were leaning back to watch regular television. You can choose from a few pre selected categories of videos like the latest, entertainment, featured and news politics. I think this will grow on me over time.