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Another Original GTV Partner (USA Today) Has Bit The Dust On GTV

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    USA Today was one of the original partners with Google TV - Back in 2010 they developed a special web app for GTV. I used to like it very much. But it has been broken for ages - and it looks like GTV and/or USA Today don't care. The regular version of USA Today doesn't work on GTV either. Pity. Here was a news article from 2010 about their GTV app:

    USA TODAY for Google TV


    *Note: I have tried USA today with GTV user agent set to default, generic, and several custom user agent strings - but nothing works.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Here is another interesting article about the original GTV partners at launch:

    Google TV lines up Netflix, Amazon, NBA, other partners - USATODAY.com

    From that list Turner Broadcasting also terminated their partnership with GTV. At launch there were web apps in the GTV Spotlight section for TBS & TNT channels. Plus the full regular web sites of those channels used to function with the GTV Chrome browser. Now their Spotlight apps have been removed and their regular web sites no longer support the GTV Chrome browser.

    Really IMO in almost 3 years time Google hasn't done much in adding content for GTV.

    Major Content Additions (since GTV launch): Amazon Video app, Vudu, Google Play movie/shows

    Major Content Subtractions (since GTV launch): USA Today, TNT, TBS, YouTube with Chrome, Standard version of Gmail, HBO GO

    Content is KING! In the 3 years from GTV launch - when you consider the major content additions and subtractions - I don't really see much progress being made. Plus some content has also been lost (since GTV launch) to some web sites switching to Flash 11. Other sites such as WatchESPN only work with ESPN3 (kind of clunky with GTV Chrome browser) - (and you cannot log in with a pay TV subscription for ESPN2 and the other WatchESPN channels. That function is broke on GTV). Same thing for the FOX web site.

    Tweaking the GTV interface for the umpteenth time won't cut the mustard. Google needs to cut more content deals for GTV.

    I suppose it's worth mentioning that recently the Redbox Instant app was added - but IMO that is not a "major" addition. Also ala-carte purchases of movies from the Google Play Store doesn't seem to have generated much excitement for the GTV platform. Things such as a MLB.TV app, a Hulu Plus app, HBO Go app, etc. would create some positive PR for GTV.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    OK I did some further testing and I was able to get the regular version of the USA Today web site working on my Logitech Revue. This is how I got it to work:

    Change the GTV user agent to the following custom user agent:


    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/28.0.1468.0 Safari/537.36


    Click "OK". And then reboot. (It's very important to reboot after setting the custom user agent or it won't work.)

    Then go to the regular USA Today web site:


    USA TODAY: Latest World and US News - USATODAY.com
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Not really sure what you are saying but if USA Today and Tuner Broadcasting Co. don't want their service on Google TV, then there is nothing Google can do about it. If those companies do want to be available on Google TV, Google has made it easy for that to happen. I am not sure what is expected of Google here, pay millions or billions to these companies to entice them to offer their content on Google TV? I never used the USA Today app but if USA changed the way the service can be accessed and it no longer works on Google TV, that was USA Today's choice, I am certain Google didn't contact USA Today and request the service be made unavailable.

    If you are trying to make a point that Google TV has less content than other streaming boxes, I disagree, I own Roku and have played with Apple TV, and I believe Google TV has more content than both put together. The only device I can come up with to connect to an HDTV with more content would be a computer and it is a pain for me to use in that manner and it is a lot more expensive.
     
  6. wwsiralexd

    wwsiralexd New Member

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    GTV gets me more contents than Roku. That's for sure.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter whose fault it is - although IMO some of the fault certainly belongs to Google. Who's fault is it then that the YouTube web site with GTV Chrome is a mess? I merely stated a fact that in almost 3 years time there really hasn't been much content added overall. As I mentioned the bottom line:

    Major Content Additions (since GTV launch): Amazon Video app, Vudu, Google Play movie/shows


    Major Content Subtractions (since GTV launch): USA Today, TNT, TBS, YouTube with Chrome, Standard version of Gmail, HBO GO,


    You can try and sugar coat things by claiming it's not Google's fault - or make fanboy comments such as: "I don't see what Google can do" - but that won't change the facts. I also tend to place the blame of HBO GO not working on GTV with Google. For whatever reason Google didn't do it what it takes to get the job done. And if media companies dislike Google - they have their reasons for it. Bottom line GTV isn't selling well - pretending it's not Google's fault will do nothing to fix that.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to a user survey of owners of the major set-top boxes - GTV is indeed plagued by a lack of content. See the article from following link:

    http://www.zdnet.com/fixya-plots-problems-with-main-web-tv-systems-4010025702/
    (click for full article)

    FixYa Plots Problems With Main Web TV Systems

    Summary: Web TV has held out the promise of explosive sales success since Steve Perlman launched WebTV in 1996, but a succession of products has achieved modest sales or at worst, like Google TV, flopped. The FixYa website has surveyed current owners to find out what sort of problems they face when using the four main products: Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee and Roku.


    By Jack Schofield for Jack's Blog | March 21, 2012 -- 16:03 GMT (09:03 PDT)


    --"Web TV has held out the promise of explosive sales success since Steve Perlman launched WebTV in 1996, but a succession of products has achieved modest sales or at worst, like Google TV, flopped. The FixYa website has surveyed current owners to find out what sort of problems they face when using the four main products: Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee and Roku. The report excludes the much more popular TV-connected games consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, and also small "home theatre" PCs running Microsoft Windows, XBMC, Myth TV and so on."

    Also from the article:

    "Google TV is plagued by a lack of content, making it the worst value for consumers."

    And also this:

    "FixYa doesn't offer a fix, but says Google's failure to negotiate deals "should put up red flags for any potential buyer that is holding out hope before purchasing it."
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  8. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    At the end of the day content is king. If content owners start dropping off then the only thing left will the sound of crickets. Google has responsibilities to woo content providers in order to make GTV survive, their responsibility simply doesn't stop by just providing the GTV OS and then go off on their merry way onto something else. Yes currently there are sufficient content providers to keep GTV viable but as we've seen HBO GO is gone, ESPN is gone, USA Today is gone, all flash based content providers that do not provide HTML5 equivalent will be gone when JB is rolled out. It's a trend with which GTV owners should concerned.
     
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  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    None of the full episodes from the National Geographic channel web site currently work with my Revue. Only the short clips work. Previously I had been able to view all of their full episodes. They must of changed something with their Flash:

    Video -- Full Episodes -- National Geographic


    Also currently the PBS web site is Flash based only. They don't have HTML5 now. And they currently only have mobile apps for Apple devices:

    http://www.pbs.org/services/mobile/

    So unless something changes - when the GTV Jellybean update rolls out PBS will become non-functional on GTV devices. (The GTV Jellybean update will remove Flash from the GTV browser).
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  10. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    However, the type content that's not available on GoogleTV, for the most part, is available on cable and can be DVR'd. The way I look at it, the availability of internet-only content is of significance, and GoogleTV has that: Netflix, YouTube or any other app or web site based content.

    Put it this way, if GoogleTV doesn't have a mere handful of TV based content like NBC, ESPAN, or HBO, so what. I can watch and record those channels on cable/FiOS. With HBOGO, you need a subscription for HBO to watch it on the HBO website, anyway, so there's no real cord-cutting opportunity there.
     
  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I hear what you are saying - GTV has Netflix and Amazon Instant apps - plus it can access a lot of "secondary" content with the Chrome browser. And the PrimeTime app is nice - however to get full benefit of the PrimeTime app one needs a cable box. Also the integration with Live TV and cable TV providers is a half-baked solution - only Dish Network has the full "enhanced integration" with GTV.

    IMO the fact that the selling points of GTV are supposed to be the integration with a cable box and the Chrome browser on TV - just don't resonate with most consumers as major selling points that offers great "value". For many people (looking to save money) - purchasing another box to run on top of a cable box does not represent a good value proposition. And another selling point was supposed to be "the android market on your TV". Well the number of useful android apps currently available for GTV is very limited.

    Netflix and a web browser can also be had by a myriad of other devices/solutions. Just hooking up a laptop to a computer is probably a better solution - as a laptop can access the full episodes from web sites of Hulu, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX etc. Granted you don't need a cable box to use GTV - but then that is kind of defeating the stated purpose of GTV (to enhance the cable TV experience). Without the cable box other solutions such as Apple TV and Roku are simpler, have more "major content" apps, and just works better (less bugs). As I mentioned having a (semi-functional) browser on TV just hasn't proven to be a big selling point for GTV thus far.

    I disagree with your comment that Google TV has "any app or web based content". Let's start with Google's own standard version of Gmail and YouTube currently not working properly on GTV.

    I'm finding more and more web sites that don't work with GTV mostly because of Flash issues. In the post right before yours I provided a specific example of full episodes no longer working on the National Geographic web site. Also a lot of web sites trigger the "Aw Snap!" message on my Revue. And no it's not from user error - I have no apps installed on my Revue to drain memory.

    After the Jellybean update purges Flash from the GTV browser - there will be a lot more web sites that will no longer work with GTV. I gave a specific example of one of my favorite web sites "PBS" - currently not having content in HTML5 and no mobile apps for android. And just about all of those web sites in my Symabaloo GTV web mixes will also become non-functional after the Jellybean update. (They all use Flash)


    IMO it is rather presumptuous to assume that Google has tons of arrangements in place with web sites & content providers - and they will all magically kick into place when the Jellybean update rolls out. I base that comment on the current state of disarray with GTV and the (lack) of content partnerships for apps. (The GTV Jellybean update will open up NDK support and hardware support for DRM - so we'll see if there will be some more major content apps that become available after the update - but I'm not holding my breath).

    If GTV was not currently in a state of "disarray" - than Google wouldn't be preparing to launch a Google Nexus android game console and a Nexus Q 2. This was reported on in the Wall Street Journal:


    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/off-topic-discussion/8059-google-android-game-console-smartwatch-nexus-q2-tipped-works.html



    *Sorry if it bugs some of you that might think I'm "ragging on GTV". I'm always trying to be objective and honest in my posts. When something good comes along with GTV I post that information also. Of course some of you will disagree with my comments and that's fine - I base many of my comments on an objective view of how the "masses" most likely interpret the GTV platform. And I usually back any "claim" that I make about GTV with links to articles, stats, etc to support my point of view.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  12. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    I agree with your points, but my comments are coming more from a perspective of, call it: "PC cord-cutting." Sales for GoogleTV, as you point out, aren't the greatest. I think this is largely due to a certain disconnect between what GoogleTV is offering and the customer base it's targeting: In other words, it seems most potential buyers of GoogleTV don't particularly care about the browser as a big selling point, they mostly care about getting their PC content on their HDTV and, secondly, any cable/internet integration that may impress them as a bonus.

    When I first looked into GoogleTV, it was surprising that it seemed about 80% of the GoogleTV posts on various "tech web sites" were about complaints of not being able to get NBC and a few other similar network sites; and running their PC "stuff" on GoogleTV (and, yes, the fact that GoogleTV wasn't integrated with regular cable DVRs). Practically no concern or discussion about the Chrome browser. I was looking for a good alternative to a functionally Flash-obsolete (I can well understand the annoyance with, say, a PBS, etc., upgrading out of accessibility) internet access box (the MSN) TV-2). I was just about to get a "Mac Mini" (where the new ones came with an HDMI port) when I heard about GoogleTV and it's heavily HDTV oriented platform, and bought the Revue instead.


    So, I probably didn't make it all that clear that I know my comments are probably from a relatively subjective angle, and the main point being that GoogleTV is the best that's out there from my perspective. I'm in a "no choice-optimistic," "let's wait n' see" camp I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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