The slogan for this week’s announcement of Google TV is “TV meets Web, Web meets TV.” Google’s slogan is perfect because it's so disjointed -- and perfectly reflects the awkward relationship between the Web and television in 2010.
Google TV is basically Google Search built into your television; it will pull Web video, broadcast and cable TV into one tidy search box. In theory, using Google TV you could search for Fox and Friends and you’d find the actual broadcast and past episodes alongside of the hundreds of videos that Fox clips and publishes on the Web.
Google TV could be the answer. The search giant could be the first company to successfully bring Web and TV together.
Notice I said “could.”
Right now the experiment sounds a little half-baked, and I’m not sure how all of this will come together. For instance, Google TV won’t replace your Comcast or Time Warner cable box. Instead it’ll connect to your current box via another box, or if you have the extra cash you can buy a new TV that will have Google TV built in.
Admittedly I’m a little confused about how Google plans to marry the Web and TV. Will Google TV allow me to press play on an Internet episode of Lost -- or will it force me to watch the broadcast version with more commercials? Google says the idea is to merge the web and TV experience so that neither is compromised. Does that mean I can simultaneously watch UFO Hunters on The History Channel while searching the Web?
And the big question: Will Internet television shows play as seamlessly as the broadcast version?
There’s a reason Google announced this at the company's developers conference: Google TV won’t be real until developers get their hands on it. Just like Android, Google’s mobile operating system, wouldn’t be interesting unless there were apps, Google TV may depend on apps too.
Don’t get me wrong I’m hoping that Google TV is a huge success. We should all care about Google TV, in fact, which could finally be the solution to the awkward relationship that is Web and TV.
Or it could end up like WebTV from the 90s. Did you buy one of those? Me neither.