The Final Cut: Saying No to Google TV

It’s been a hard day at work. You want to unwind in front of the flat-screen. You don’t want interactivity. You don’t want infotainment. After slaving at the PC all day, you don’t want to surf. You want to watch some damn TV, do some 12-ounce curls, and then doze off. I ask you: Is that so wrong? According to companies like Google, yes, it is. And they want to change that.

Don’t get me wrong. Google is a terrific company. Wish I bought its stock when it went public 6 years ago. Great search engine. Why, I Google stuff all day long. Now the Big G wants to expand its reach even further. I’m okay with that. When it drove its truck up and down my street taking pictures of all the houses, and of all the people sitting on their front porches, I didn’t mind. (Thank goodness I was wearing pants.) Then Google bought YouTube. Okay, fine. And Google’s Android is challenging Apple’s OS, and Google is starting a music service to challenge iTunes, along with a social-networking site to challenge Facebook (Google Me?). Sure, why not? But now, with Google TV, I’m drawing the line.

Remember convergence? The big deal was to merge computers and televisions. Why have two screens in the house when you just need one? The idea was to make TVs more computer-like and, in particular, give them access to streaming content. Lots of companies figured that made sense and have tried to develop Web TVs. Ever heard of Apple TV? Only a dedicated few people have, really, which explains why it hasn’t really taken off. Yes, more and more TVs have built-in network connections, but most of them aren’t hooked up to anything.

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