Why TV Networks Blocking Google TV Online Doesn’t Matter


cbs network speed player notification

I was giving the whole “TV networks block Google TV” situation some thought and came to conclusion: it really doesn’t matter. Would it be nice if one could visit a site like CBS.com and view available TV content for browser-based streaming? Sure. But is it a deal breaker when Google TV is designed to work with your TV provider’s set-top box, which includes live TV, DVR, and on-demand content? Nope. In fact, I believe most people would prefer to view the higher quality content from their TV provider than the gloriously pixelated, connection optimized (see above) 480p content from a TV network’s website on their HDTV. Yes, I’ve grumbled about what Google TV is lacking, but missing access to select TV networks’ websites isn’t high on my list. If anything, it’s a red-herring used by proponents of competing platforms who don’t provide any sort of true TV integration. What say you?

* Hey, Google TV Teamshoot me an email. I’d like to chat.




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Filed in: Content Providers, Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZCHOBBAS2BA2QERMFJ2RZ7ITLA John smith

    Actually you can unblock most of the channels by simply changing the user agent in chrome to “DESKTOP”, I watched several episodes of House and CSI already, and I will tell you the quality was most definitly HD 720 or bettter. Give it a try!

  • Anonymous

    I agree. It’s not a deal breaker. Providers are cutting their own noses to spite their face. They should want traffic to be directed to them and Google TV can help. By increased traffic, they will get increased ad revenue… If Google makes Google TV platform based on Android so that people can load apps as well, Google TV will really explode. I don’t yet have Google TV… Perhaps in 2011. I need to decide on a way to get my local platform through the Google TV interface…

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    We’ve covered the Google TV useragent topic in the past: http://bit.ly/aGAMw1

    Options are: Default, Generic (supposed to mimic a PC), and Custom (which you can use to spoof a different browser and OS). Bottom line: sites that want to block Google TV can still detect the device via Flash or Javascript.

  • http://twitter.com/quikstarts Mayvik Media

    TV networks blocking content will have little or no impact on the success of Google TV. If anything, these traditional networks should be trying to find innovative ways to benefit for this technology instead of running from it. You cant out run innovation!

    The authors is spot on in the point about the Google TV working with cable tv converters. The fact is, if I want to watch a network tv program, I would switch to the tv feed and watch it over the air OR via my cable tv feed. Its a complete non issue.

    Further, Google TV is powered by Android and the SDK is supposed to be released in the spring of 2011. It is at this time, that I feel we will see a variety of creative, innovative applications at which point this product will begin to take off.

  • http://twitter.com/quikstarts Mayvik Media

    TV networks blocking content will have little or no impact on the success of Google TV. If anything, these traditional networks should be trying to find innovative ways to benefit for this technology instead of running from it. You cant out run innovation!

    The authors is spot on in the point about the Google TV working with cable tv converters. The fact is, if I want to watch a network tv program, I would switch to the tv feed and watch it over the air OR via my cable tv feed. Its a complete non issue.

    Further, Google TV is powered by Android and the SDK is supposed to be released in the spring of 2011. It is at this time, that I feel we will see a variety of creative, innovative applications at which point this product will begin to take off.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree. I have my Revue (googletv), using it right now, and just love accessing all web content on my tv. And YouTube leanback is just the best, just type in my subject, like surfing, and it will just play surfing videos all day. In HD. I love connecting my Revue into my receiver sound system via HDMI so I get surround sound and HD on my tv. I actually cut my cable (saving $100/month) and enjoy internet content on my tv. With everything that’s out there including all the netflix movies we are good to go. Plus I have an antenna connected to the tv and getting free HD broadcasts over the air from the major channels. Cable is done.

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    Hulu Plus offered at 720p is a good thing — especially if one is paying for the *premium* service. Hopefully, Hulu Plus will land on Google TV as an app soon.

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    I checked fox.com out last night. The encoding quality is excellent, but I’m not 100% convinced it’s 720p. I couldn’t find details on the site to prove things one way or another, unfortunately.

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    I like the idea of just using an over-the-air antenna to get live HD television. An app like Hulu Plus would act like a cloud-based DVR for anything you missed, though Netflix also has their eye on filling this niche.

  • http://twitter.com/PhoneTVInternet PhoneTVInternet.com

    480P is not high Def, and Netflix does stream in 720P for a few official TV episodes. HULU is also streaming some video in 720P http://www.hulu.com/watch/62783/the-simpsons-now-in-hd

  • http://twitter.com/agrundner Alexander Grundner

    That Hulu clip is an ad for the Simpson’s in HD… on your television. 720p on Hulu is only available through Hulu Plus. Netflix offering 720p is great, but you won’t find this quality on free-to-all TV network websites — at least not to any large extent.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OEMJDFIWTEEILSPI3UBFJCDNFM Edselfan

    I know this is old, but you are correct. I bought a Sony Blu-Ray with Google TV a few weeks ago and only found out by reading on the internet that I couldn’t play video from the network sites. Why would I want to when I can watch Live TV or DVR recordings from live TV straight through the player? I bought it for the internet browsing while watching TV from my bed and for the BD player, which would have been half of the price of the unit anyway.