The remote offers a full keyboard, two directional pads, volume and channel buttons, all encased in a form factor so large, it requires two hands to hold.
The Guardian says this after seeing the Sony Google TV remote in action:
"...all that's missing is the aerial sticking out of the top, and it really would look like a remote control. For a jumbo jet."
Yikes, just yikes.
So far, we've been bullish on Google TV's potential, noting, for example, comments made by Google TV partner Blip.tv's CEO Mike Hudack, which talked of the product's game changing capabilities:
"It's good. Very good. The main reason why it's so good is that it, once and for all, demolishes the boundary between traditional broadcast and cable television and Internet video. People with a Google TV will no longer differentiate...We've very excited. We're at the beginning of a new age, an age where the monopoly over content distribution is eroding and anyone with talent and drive can access audiences..."
And the gushing continued.
Hudack has a point: putting the Google name brand and engineering know-how behind a product as big as this does hold promise for a more democratic future for TV.
However, there has been, until now, more focus on the big ideas surrounding the Google TV platform - like how it's positioned as an Apple TV competitor, what this means for Android developers, etc., etc. - and not a lot about the technical details of how one will interact with Web content via the TV set.
And apparently, unless this is some cruel prank, Sony's vision for Google TV is Web TV, take 2.
1983 called, wants its remote back. http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/05/sonys-google-tv-controller-outed-on-abcs-nightline-video/
Now don't get us wrong - when Web TV first made the rounds the Web wasn't anywhere near as interesting as it is today (I remember - I had one!). There wasn't Facebook or Twitter or any Lady Gaga videos back then. I think its best feature was the way the LED would light up when you had new email. Yes, that was amazing, let me tell you.
But Web TV failed to captivate a large audience, because - guess what? - TV viewing is generally a passive, "lean-back" activity. Not one requiring a keyboard. Or any effort, really.
Are We Ready for Google TV?
Granted, with today's Web, there's a lot more to do. Google says we will be able to watch the Web on TV, Twitter is building a Google TV app and Android developers will have a whole new platform to target.
So maybe the living room is ready for Web TV again. Maybe...
Or maybe people will continue to surf their iPads and Android phones instead while the TV blares in the background, the comforting white noise it's always been. What do you think?
Image credit, remote: Engadget