TV and internet collide

Graphic by: Marie Stovall

Google and Apple are both banking on a new, previously failed to be tapped, platform to extend their reaches to. That platform being televisions, both mega-corporations hope to provide devices to take advantage of the surf-on television crowd because they see the potential in profit that the venture would provide them if it ever gets off the ground.

Apple has had a version of Apple TV around for quite some time, but they are now preparing to launch a new version of what has been considered a failed attempt to broach into this new platform. Users had a number of complaints about the device, ranging from just wishing it had more features to outright distaste for Apple TV. With its new launch, Apple hopes to answer and make up for some of the issues found with the previous incarnation of Apple TV. The new release will include an app turning your iTouch or iPhone into a remote control for Apple TV. This is an easier, more streamlined setup, making it simpler for users to get ready to watch their favorite shows.

Other features to be included with the new Apple TV are streaming of photos and music from iTunes on a computer. It will also allow users to stream video from YouTube and Netflix, along with renting HD movies and TV shows from presumably iTunes or some other Apple-run service. The interface looks to be clean and sleek with very intuitive controls. These features aren’t additions, but are improved upon from the previous generation of machine.

Google TV, on the other hand, sports a much more diverse and surprising lineup, creating a much more true blending of Internet and TV. Google TV runs on the Android OS, but the built-in browser for Google TV is their popular chrome browser for computers, which creates an interesting and surprising blend of their two popular products. Demos show the new fusion of the two programs running smoothly, showing no real hiccups.

This has the advantage over Apple TV in that it has a full web browser, allowing users to not only search through their own saved video files, but also search the entirety of the web for whatever they want to watch. If users feel the need to update their statuses, they can do so without leaving the comfort of their own couch. They can play a flash game on their big screen, such as Farmville, with no problem. Google TV comes with its own fully integrated version of Adobe flash built in.

Since it runs on the Android platform Google TV, has the ability to allow users access to the Android Market, allowing them to customize their TVs in ways that have never been experienced before. Like Apple, Google TV has access to YouTube and Netflix built in, but with the added freedom of being able to search the web and play videos from other places. Google TV also has a fully customizable homepage for your favorite things in such a way that they are easy to access and ready to go when you are.

Apple has ease of use, but Google has the clear advantage in that it is much more customizable. It’s hard to see who will come out on top. The one thing that may weigh in Google’s favor is that they are not going it alone in this venture as they have a number of partners such as Sony, Intel and Best Buy.