The second launch of Google's Google TV is remarkable because of how much the search titan is trying to downplay it.
“We don’t believe the Web is going to replace linear TV,” Mario Quieroz, head of Google TV, told the New York Times. “This is designed to be complementary to cable TV... . It’s not a new strategy, but I think we’re articulating it better now."
The message was also given to others. “There was a perception that we were a cord-cutting product, and that’s something that we didn’t do enough to dispel," Rishi Chandra, director of Google TV product development toldWired. "Our point of view is that there’s new content coming, content that you just haven’t been able to access with your TV. Now we’re bringing that content, and adding the discovery experience on top of it.”
“We're working with a lot of cable providers and with networks to bring whatever content they think is appropriate to TV,” Quieroz toldBloomberg Businessweek. “Our goal is really to bring content that adds value as opposed to replicate redundant content.”
Basically Google's talking points seem to be saying, "Yeah, we overhyped it the first time and everyone was disappointed and it really, really hurt salest. So, now we're keeping expectations low."
Google TV still doesn't have any of the networks on board, as we have previously reported, but it recently signed up cable channels TBS and TNT. It's also reportedly working on original content channels for YouTube, so there are some tricks up Google's sleeve -- just nothing it's willing to talk about right now.
As for the new Google TV, it's supposed to give users a "unified TV-watching experience," Quieroz said. Apparently that means the service has much better search, looks more streamlined and integrates with social media -- so you can see if your friends tweeted about watching a program or movie and then see if it's available to watch. According to Wired, one of the best features is a new-and-improved YouTube app that delivers speedy video and HD content. (And because it's on the Android platform, users can use apps from the Android Market.)
So, this new Google TV is better -- not revolutionary, but definitely better than the first. However, we think with Google having so many irons in the fire; original content on YouTube, ongoing talks with Hulu and networks and Google+ integration, that Google TV has some amazing potential.