Google is exploring Google TV, as has been Apple and many other online companies as a means of disorienting cable providers. Cable TV was introduced in 1949. Apple is even testing a way for viewers to skip ads, while providing TV providers fees. Is it possible? Yes, if fiber networks can provide up to gigabit internet speeds at competitive rates against cable companies.
It isn’t so simple. Consider over 1,000 channels that cable provides. Will all those broadcasters from around the world be willing to comply and provide new programming to an online carrier? Will it be profitable?
Netflix and Amazon already offer old TV shows for streaming. Illegitimate TV downloading can deliver movies playing in theaters. The issue is whether an online TV network can produce its own shows. Remember MTV started with music-videos but now music-videos are only a small portion of its programming.
The nuances of viewing new programming on-demand from your mobile devices or at home is astounding. Yet, that capability is somewhat available from certain online channels already. Yet, Google is a powerhouse and is already installing fiber networks to various cities. Google TV aims to provide more comprehensive choices. Yet, can Google TV entice more viewers by producing marketable shows that people will watch?
Obviously, WiFi has to become more accessible in more places, at greater speeds to allow live streaming. WiMAX technology or greater has to become available at lower cost pricing.
There are already shows emerging on YouTube and some are very popular. Internet TV as a business is easy to produce but setting up your own TV network for profit is difficult. Google, however, can buy and access the rights to deliver networks online.
Computers and mobile devices will require greater graphic capabilities and higher resolution screens.
Wile all this may seem possible, affordability and access are some major obstacles. Many people still use old computers with old technologies. There are still significant poverty lines both domestically and internationally. Availability of online TV will need to be available to everyone. That also means that TV needs to comply to standard for universal access.
Google TV may be simple for adaptation. You may only need a Google Chrome Box for home TV service. But the only way that Google TV can work is if users can access up-to-the-minute TV programming as it happens. That has, thus far, thwarted Apple, Google, Hulu, and many others.
Then, of course, there are devices like Roku and others made by leading internet router companies.
With all the factors that need to take place, online internet TV is more like a seed seeking growth into a tree. Google TV is an ambitious project that will no doubt be farmed by many companies. It is, perhaps, more than a decade away to possibly saturate the market. By then, the middle-aged population will already have had significant exposure to PC, Wi-Fi and Internet. Google TV needs to explore this but be prepared for large obstacles.
Apple TV and Google TV can only make headway as they produce original programming that entice viewers to view each week or each day. That will be the path to make online TV more marketable. But will you be able to share that content from one online TV provider to another?
It’s a possible dream just as cable TV was, when the FCC opened it around 65 years ago. The idea of paid subscription TV was unheard of, back then, since TV programming only became popular in the 1950’s. The years of cable TV may be numbered but that number is still a distance away. Google TV is a major force to try to make it sooner.