Google and Apple have gone to war in a number of markets, from phones
to mobile ads
. Yesterday, Google made an advance on yet another one of those fronts, previewing what kinds of content will be available
on the yet-to-be-released Google TV platform. As Apple found out, content providers are freaked out by the idea of set-top boxes that get programming over the internet. Google is doing an end-run around those concerns, by working with them to customize their websites for use with Google TV. As Google makes its plans clearer, the differences between the Apple TV and Google's offering are coming into sharper relief.
Google will - as they did with Android - not build their own hardware, in this case working with manufacturers like Sony and Logitech to build their software platform into their equipment. The company updated its Google TV site on Monday with a tour of the new platform's feature set.
Right up front, they highlight the most significant difference between Google TV and Apple TV, with the slogan "TV, apps, search and the entire web… together at last." Rather than the Apple TV's closed "Lowtide" interface, Google TV will have apps right from the start like Twitter, Pandora, Napster and Amazon Video On Demand as well as custom offerings from CNBC and the NBA, and with access to the Android Market "starting early next year.
Both companies have struggled to overcome resistance from the major movie and television studios
due to their concerns that Apple TV and Google TV could cannibalize their cable and satellite TV revenues. In particular, Google's approach of making all Web video accessible on its box made the studios worried that their programming would get lost amid all the different content, or pirated and redistributed for free. Google refined its pitch to providers, and now claims they have been "overwhelmed by interest from partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize and distribute their content in new ways." The Google TV blog
highlights web content from Turner Broadcasting - including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim - as well as the apps from the NBA, NBC and HBO.
As with the iPhone - which had no third-party apps when it was first released - it seems like the jailbreak community will save Apple's bacon yet again. The absence of apps on the Apple TV will be a major liability for the device once Sony's Internet Tv and Blu-ray Player as well as Logitech's Google TV box are released later this month.