Home Google TV is Like a Cow that Charges You for Milk

Google TV is Like a Cow that Charges You for Milk

It’s been just a handful of days now that I’ve had this 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.

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.

So I’m left with what is, admittedly, a wonderfully designed but almost useless device sitting at my fingertips. Why? Because I don’t have cable. Sure, Google TV has Netflix and it has an endless stream of Robot Chicken episodes, not to mention YouTube Leanback. It even has snippets of news broadcasts and television show excerpts (which I’ve never understood), but none of this is the latest episode of House M.D..

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.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.