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Is The New Google TV Enough?

Dec 16 2010, 8:06am CST | by , in News | Home Entertainment

Is The New Google TV Enough?
 
 

Not if this content spat doesn't end.

Still just two months old, Google TV is under fire on all sides. Major networks have pulled their content from the service, and the initial reviews have not been positive. Google isn't about to back down from what they see as the future of home entertainment. They've just released a giant update that makes Google TV much more desirable.

My favorite part of Google's blog post? When they treat a routine software update as the coolest new product feature ever,

"In fact, one of the greatest things about Google TV is that it comes with free, automatic “over-the-air” software updates that give you the newest features and content as we release them. It’s as if Google TV goes up in value over time."

Google TV could use an extra shot of value. They're running out of networks to be blocked by. This allays some of that by upgrading the Netflix app. It now allows you to browse and watch any movie or show in the catalog. You can also alter your DVD queue if you still use DVDs for some reason. The app now also has a Genius-like program to recommend shows based on your viewing history.

The Dual View feature basically lets your Google TV act like a media box, allowing you to browse the Internet while watching media in windowed mode. Now users can re-size the window and move it wherever they want to. Which makes GTV one step closer to an old retired desktop in ability.

 

The most anticipated feature of this update is the remote control app for Android. The Google TV remote is now available in the Market. It includes integrated voice, so you can call up your favorite shows without any clumsy button mashing.

Last, GTV now has an enhanced movie search feature. Querying a title will bring up a results page that shows all available sources to watch it. You'll see where it is on TV, Netflix, On Demand, Amazon, Hulu, etc.


These changes make Google TV a much more attractive prospect, but I still can't recommend a buy unless you're willing to take a bit of a risk. Or you don't mind doing some work-arounds. Most of the blocked sites, like Hulu, can be accessed through simple work-arounds. Which isn't close to a user-friendly solution but, hey, some of you enjoy that. Don't even try to lie about it.

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