Google TV Announces Underwhelming Roster Of Programming Partners

As Google TV readies to launch in the coming weeks, the company has finally announced its initial slate of programming partners — and it’s not exactly thrilling reading.

In a blog post from earlier today, a Google TV exec tried to make the most out of a ho-hum list of media partners, none of which includes the major broadcast networks.

The biggest fish in the Google TV pond is HBO, which is bringing its HBO Go online service to Google TV. Of course, you have to be an HBO subscriber to access this content. And it’s unclear from the statement whether or not this would now open up HBO Go to all HBO subscribers; it is currently only available to Comcast and Verizon FiOS customers.

In terms of basic cable content, Turner Broadcasting will make online content — though it’s very vague on the topic of how much or exactly what kind — from TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, available through Google TV.

While you still need to go to or Hulu to watch 30 Rock online, NBC Universal is bringing something called CNBC Real-Time, which “allows you to track your favorite stocks and access news feeds while enjoying the best financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.”

And then there’s standard stuff, like being able to rent movies from Amazon or stream Netflix offerings.

So basically, this is all like hooking up your computer to your TV.

Google TV will be built into new Sony high-definition televisions and Blu-ray players, and into a Logitech set-top box.

Here comes Google TV [GoogleTV blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. nakkypoo says:

    TV is underwhelming

  2. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Well considering most people can get the “major networks” OTA with an antenna and their TV, its no big surprise.

    Still, considering most of the networks (national or otherwise) still view “the Internet” as some great force out to steal their paychecks, its no surprise.

  3. Cleo256 says:

    “So basically, this is all like hooking up your computer to your TV.”

    I’d buy a set top box that actually did that. Being able to watch anything on Youtube, Blip, MSN Video, Hulu, etc., without having to haul my computer into my family room? And without having to worry about whether Mega Company A signed a deal with Mega Company B? Sounds like a winner to me.

    • v0rt says:

      Based on the fact that it appears to have a fully functioning, integrated Chrome Browser, it seems to do just that.

      If it’s in the $200-300 price range, as rumored, it might not just be a complementary device. It might be an acceptable way to cut cable entirely. Netflix App, Amazon VOD app, Youtube App, and a Chrome browser for everything else (flash video; maybe even ESPN3?). You could make back the cost very quickly just in saved monthly bills.

      I’ll have to wait until Wednesday, but it does look tempting.

    • davidsco says:

      um, except you DO have worry if Mega company A (Google) signed a deal with Mega Company B. (The content providers) FAIL

    • kcarlson says:

      Check out the Roku set-top box, under $100, streams Netflix and other sources via your home’s wireless router. No need to move the computer to the TV room after all!

    • Alecto says:

      I have Boxee on an older laptop hooked up to my TV and it works quite well.

      Boxee can run youtube, Netflix, Hulu and shows off all the major network sites.

    • mikeP says:

      There IS such a magic box available that you can buy. Its called an e-machine. Any ole laptop with an HDMI-out will work just fine. You use your wi-fi to give it interwebz access, then put the laptop next to the TV, plug it in and you are good to go.

  4. hewhoroams says:

    Unfortunately this device is pretty blah compared to any HTPC, PS3, 360, or any other device on the market right now with internet connectivity.
    The only place it’s going to differentiate is going to be pricepoint. And I doubt they’ll do that right.

  5. sufreak says:


  6. kracken41 says:

    Browser browser browser. This is what will differentiate G TV from so many of it’s competitors. Don’t have a particular service? Who cares. Go to the actual website and watch it there.

    • Razor512 says:

      It would be great if they could just remove all of the other crap and just make a TV with a firefox app, then have a remote with a physical slide out keyboard and touchpad. A web browser is much better than having a limited set of apps that attempt to emulate some of the features of a web browser.

  7. rooben says:

    You are missing the big thing for Dish subscribers – looks like you can use the GoogleTV interface to program/use your DVR, along with the search features.
    Right now, we want to find something to watch, we start at the DVR – if nothing compelling is there, we go to AppleTV (i store all my DVDs in iTunes to stream to the AppleTV). If nothing new is there, then on to Netflix.
    If GoogleTV ultimately lets me search or browse all of this content, no matter what the source…that would be the golden app that pulls the living room together (yes, I know, you’ve got this all set up with MythTV or XMBC…i don’t want to hear it, its still to hard to configure).

  8. Chaosium says:

    I can’t wait until I can just buy HBO independent of Comcast, DirecTV, etc. I’ll pay for their stuff, ESPN, Disney, and Fox, not so much.

    • zentec says:

      There was a time, when you could get US premiums via USSB. I remember it costing me $7 a month. Which was then changed to needing to have a basic DirecTV subscription, and then finally USSB was absorbed by DirecTV.

      I don’t see that situation ever being repeated. HBO is owned by a cable provider, so they’re not about to gore their own ox. The rest know which side of the bread has the butter.

  9. Grogey says:

    Haven’t watched a single TV show for about 4 weeks now. Been doing just fine without it.

  10. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I got rid of cable about two years and replaced it with a digital receiver, a $99 Roku box, and a Netflix subscription. It’s not perfect and some content is lacking but I don’t regret the decision at all. Outside of sports, I rarely watch OTA TV at and Netflix Instant Watch and DVDs provide way more content that we’ll ever watch.

  11. vastrightwing says:

    Will Google TV allow you to watch using a browser, or will it limit you to using approved devices?

  12. DerangedKitsune says:

    This is why I’m still highly pleased with my HTPC. Sure, it cost me more than this device would retail for, and sure it takes up more space; conversely it does EVERYTHING I want in a single box.

    DVR? Check (if I still had cable). DVD/Bluray player? Check. Web Browser? (check… which one you want, IE, Chrome, FF?) Netflix streaming? Check (now that they finaly came to my frigid white land). Music library? Check. Streaming to other devices? If I had them. Streaming over the net? Possible if I wanted to set it up. Remote access to my data? Check. Emulated games from legacy consoles, using a single controller? Check. Expandable as I see fit? Check. Movies and TV digitized so I don’t even have to insert the disc? Doublecheck.

    About the only thing you could argue in favor of a device like Google TV is ease of use. I’ve been tweaking my HTPC for around 10 months now, and some of it has not been easy. But, like a custom chopped car, the results are more impressive and more beautiful than anything but the highest-end production machine.

    About the closest thing retail wise I can even think of off the top of my head is the Boxee Box D-Link is coming out with. (Oh, how I would dread trying to get support for that machine. D-link is bad enough trying to troubleshoot consumer networking hardware, give them a linux based system and what little brains they have would melt.)

  13. brianary says:

    Netflix + Hulu + browser = >90% of what people want

  14. shibblegritz says:

    Are you serious? What, pray tell, do you expect them to launch with? A mini-Jesus in every box who holographically appears and summons forth at your whim a heavenly host of angels who transform instantly before your eyes into the cast of any television program or film, existing or yet to be created, or home video of anyone, living or dead, who has ever touched a camcorder, Flip or bitchin’ DSLR?

    I’ve been watching the brewing three-way settop box war involving Roku, Boxee, Apple and now Google, and in terms of current offerings, potential and interface, and with the added bonus of Android apps, Chrome-based web browsing, etc., Google wins hands down.

    You need to look at these devices as platforms, not in the old-style way of “what’s on right now,” and I can’t help but think that Google is dropping the boss platform for a change.

    A couple of days ago, I was going to buy a Roku. Now I’m pretty sure I’m buying a Google TV box.

  15. BytheSea says:

    I guess it’s worth it if you don’t want a big cable package or you live somewhere that cable tv isn’t viable, or if you want one cable bill but you can take your computer anywhere.

  16. majortom1981 says:

    Come on this site really should do more research before badmouthing something .

    What about the deal with the NBA? Why no mention of the included google chrome with flash support ? What about Pandora? Napster? What about the android Store that this device wil lalso have? The access to it from your smart phone? DVR capabilities if you have dish network? The fact that it will also do video calling?

    Come on dop your research before badmouthing something

  17. pot_roast says:

    Ugh. What a horrid disjointed UI they have created.

    I think this thing is going to wind up a geek love project and little more than that…