In a blog post on the official Google TV Blog, Google’s Google TV product manager, Ambarish Kenghe, has revealed what the next version of Google TV (version 3) will include, and how it will be different from previous generations:
Google Play Movies, TV shows, and Music will be rolling out to your Google TV over the next few weeks. You’ll be able to buy or rent content directly through the Google Play Store on Google TV, and purchases you’ve made on other devices will also be automatically available on Google TV. Google Play titles will also be discoverable through our TV & Movies app, which brings recommendations for shows and movies available on live TV and apps like Netflix, Amazon, and now Google Play.
The idea of a “smart television” is an interesting one, but I can’t wrap my head around why Google would continue to choose to put Google TV directly into TVs instead focusing on set top boxes like the Apple TV. Buying a new Apple TV when it comes out will set you back $99.00, but updating an actual Google powered television would set you back a new television should it come to that. At some point, and maybe it’s longer than I assume, Google’s going to require users to upgrade their televisions. People don’t upgrade their televisions with the same frequency as a computer, phone, or tablet. My last LCD television lasted me four years until I felt the need to update it.
Personally I’d prefer updating a hundred-dollar set top box every year or two than my television. It’s less of a hassle. Now, if Google rolled out a standalone Google TV box in the same price range as the Apple TV, I’d consider dropping my money on one. Currently Sony offers two, but at $319.90, it’s hard to justify.
All that said, if you do happen to already own a Google TV, this update looks mighty sweet.