Logitech Revue Google TV unit sitting in my bedroom and, if anything, it's making me wish I had cable. I was expecting the unit to show up and explode the universe of Internet video onto my television, but instead I see a multitude of subscription services with a few freebies intermingled.It's been just a handful of days now that I've had this
Google TV Product Manager Rishi Chandra's warning that "Cord-cutting is not happening anytime soon" is right on the money, because right now you not only need to buy the cow but even then, the milk isn't free.
Sitting at my desktop, I can easily navigate to any number of network websites - Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, you name it - and watch recent, full episodes of my favorite prime-time shows. I can see them on my giant, hi-res monitor and listen to them over my stereo system. No problem. But the moment that video makes its way over to my television, the networks get nervous. Every major network has now blocked Google TV from showing its otherwise free-to-the-Web content.
What we have now is a battle over the screen my free content shows up on. The thing is, if I want to stream House M.D. onto my television from my computer, that's quickly and easily done with some hardware additions and a cable. But so far, having a Google TV without cable has been more a disappointment than anything else.
I certainly won't go as far to say I dislike Google TV, but if cord-cutting is the worry, we certainly aren't there. Without cable, my computer offers more content than Google TV. In the end, though, it makes me wonder what this little black box could actually add to my television viewing experience were I to have cable. Would I really spend $300 just to bring my Netflix account to the big screen in the living room and add on a layer if interaction on top of my sitcoms?
To finish out this whole cow analogy, let's just say that Google TV isn't completely dried up. It does offer free content, but you certainly wouldn't want to sustain yourself or your family on the trickle of "milk" it currently offers. Without cable, Google TV offers less than you can get on your computer. Unless you bought a $300 unit to bring Netflix and YouTube to your television screen, I couldn't see anyone giving up cable once Google TV entered their living room.
Disclosure: I was provided with a review unit of the Logitech Revue Google TV, upon which I have enjoyed a number of free Robot Chicken Episodes and an hour or two of YouTube Leanback.