Curb That Enthusiasm
To that end, Baker said there will be a bit of a wait-and-see attitude on Google TV from television makers and service providers to see what kind of traction it gets from consumers. Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty was among the more skeptical analysts, looking at Google TV more from what it lacked than what it had at launch. Doherty doesn't like that the Android SDK allows programmers to write apps for Google TV won't ship after the service launches this fall.He also wonders how Google will add advertising to the mix and whether it will conflict with existing ads from TV service providers. "Most of us in the U.S. get our broadband from a cable provider. If I have another ad pop up on top of the local avail when I'm watching 'House,' when I would normally see the Chevy Tahoe ad, slowly but surely Comcast, Cox and Time Warner and Cablevision will lose revenue. They don't like losing revenue, so they'll raise service rates or raise the cable modem rate." To that end, other than satellite provider Dish, there were no cable TV or IPTV service providers championing Google TV on stage at I/O, Doherty noted. With a court recently overturning the Federal Communications Commission to regulate how Comcast offers its services, Doherty said it's reasonable to assume cable and IPTV service providers could slap a surcharge on users who subscribe to Google TV. That will hurt consumers. Worse, Comcast and others could slam their doors on Google TV outright. "If you don't have enough players at the table, it's just not crossed arms, it's blocked pipes," Doherty said. Doherty said he also expected more TV content providers on stage other than the NBA and expected to hear about parental control features for the service to enable parents to control what they're children are viewing. Google declined to comment about the analyst's complaints. However, a person familiar with the Google TV strategy said the service shouldn't be judged in whole by who wasn't on the stage for the introduction at I/O. Google is confident cable, IPTV and satellite TV providers will climb aboard for the service. Moreover, Google has not yet announced special advertising plans for Google TV. For that, industry analysts will have to wait and see.
"That's a real knee-bender for what should have been a great celebration," said Doherty, who told eWEEK May 21 Google TV seemed like Intel Viiv 2.0.