Google TV + Tivo might equal awesome
I thought about titling this "how do you want to watch TV to work" to follow the "how do you watch tv post," but when you ask want/wish type questions, things tend to get unrealistic fairly quickly. While I enjoy that conversation, I think it would distract from the clear fact that the tools to give you a dramatically better TV experience are already here. They just haven't been implemented. Imagine if Google TV was on a DVR or if TiVo worked more like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNOsB8tRmWU
I dont care how it happens but there are two products that should find a way to work together or learn from each other because neither has lived up to their potential. I don't care if TiVo builds in Google TV or if TiVo gets bought, but Google TV on a TiVo could be the solution to everybody’s TV problem.
1. Google TV is a failed product because it was blocked by content providers because Google TV was built around streaming. It would have made cord cutting into a viable alternative. No company wants to reduce their profitability so any product or suggestion for what should happen next with TV has to factor in that the people that make content have to make money. The cable companies seem fine with DVR. The problem is they don’t make enough money off of streamed content.
2. TiVo isn’t strong enough to fend off Apple alone. The current version of TiVo is just the tallest dwarf of DVR's. The best TiVo on the market has a slow UI that is just a little smarter than the one the cable company will give you. TiVo's market cap and enterprise value are small enough for them to get bought by anyone (including Apple or Microsoft) that just wants to quickly take over the DVR business without upending the cable business.
3. Apple Television is coming eventually. People want to talk to TV, to have a faster more intuitive iPhone like UI on tv, and much more powerful search.
4. Cable companies want to change their business model as little as possible. A product like this, which doesn’t destroy the model of 100s of channels that you don’t watch or find some other way of disrupting the cable business is the most likely thing cable companies will allow.
The prospect of a TiVo that takes full advantage of the strengths of Google is a fairly realistic dream.
If you listen to what people imagine the Apple television will be, its a tv usually witha DVR that runs on iOS with an even more useful Siri. People imagine a UI that is as fast and easy to use as their iphone. Google TV would probably work even better for people because its likely to have more powerful search.
Right now TiVo is one of the best DVRs available. What is TiVo now? A DVR with 2-4 tuners that allows you to take shows with you on your devices and allows programming your DVR almost anywhere. What does TiVo (or any TiVo competitor) need to be? All that and voice control, faster, smarter UI, erase the idea of channels, and hopefully control the entire media center. I'm sure its a little more complicated than I imagine, but if Google or TiVo builds a product like that I have money to give them.