I was really excited when the Google TV first started to launch and the Logitech Revue set-top box was hitting the market. I have been wanting an easy way to get video from websites I like onto my TV for a long time. I could use a HTPC, but I don’t want one sitting in my packed entertainment center. At first glance, Google TV and the Logitech Revue were the answer I had been searching for.
Right now, I have a DVR, but my wife and I like vastly different program types. She likes her girly shows like Glee and others while I stick to guy shows like stuff on Spike TV and Speed. We do have a bunch of shows in common, but several nights each week we have shows that conflict and the dual tuners in my DVR don’t cut it.
With Google TV, I was excited because my wife and I could fire the thing up, hit Hulu or the network websites directly, and watch the shows we couldn’t record rather than just giving up on the shows and not watching at all. You would think that allowing me to watch shows on my TV that I would otherwise not see would be a great thing for the networks too. Apparently, my convenience and getting to watch what I want from their networks isn’t a good thing for any of the major TV studios.
With Fox.com now blocking Google TV all of the major TV studios and Hulu are blocked on Google TV making the service pretty much useless in my book. The thing that really pisses me off is that I really want to watch some of these shows. A perfect point is the new show Chase. I watched the first few weeks before conflicts arose with other shows premiering. As it is now I simply don’t watch the show at all. I would like to, but I refuse to watch on my PC, I want my shows on the TV or not at all and I am not alone.
Therefore, by blocking me from getting the show on Google TV all the network is going is ensuring is that I avoid their show. The only reason I can think of that the networks would block access to Google TV users is one of money. They fear that we will get used to watching online and stop paying for cable, which would drive ad revenues down for them. What they seem to not understand is that I am not watching their shows at all in many instances. At least if I stream them from their website or Hulu they have a chance to make me watch an ad.
The thing that really blows my mind is that I DVR everything. I never watch a live show. That means this side of stopping to check out Tron: Legacy trailers on TV, I skip every single advertisement they throw at me. When I watch on Hulu or their website I have to see the ad before my show starts, I can’t skip it. I am captive, not that I like that, but I recognize that advertising pays for the content I love. That is better than what they get on normal TV, but someone doesn't seem to get that.
I'll make it even clearer in case a network executive runs across this. The only way you will get me to watch your ads is to force them on me online. The reality of it is that the TV networks are afraid their advertisers will realize that fact and take their money to the web. What an oblivious TV industry doesn't get is that migration of advertising and consumers to the web is already happening and can't be stopped. Just ask print publications how advertising revenue is right now, this happened to them. Ask music labels how profits on CDs are doing after the masses moved to digital tracks purchased online. We are all moving online, we are the people who buy your music, watch your shows, and read your content. We can live without your products. Did you forget that?