I participated in the Google TV / Sony Hangout today. Here are all the questions and answers I could type while watching. They are not direct quotes, but do capture what was big asked and said in repsonse. I slowed down a little at the end, my arms got full (those watching would have seen Karah hand me Jovi so she could get some other stuff done.
The “panel” is made up of some good people from Google, Sony, and third-party groups like Revision3 and TWit.
Why choose a Sony Google TV device? Sony is an integrated solution, with Blu-ray and/or TV.
Is there something out to buy now, or should I wait? Sony is proud of its gen1 products, but there are some good devices coming out soon.
How can developers get involved with creating apps for Google TV? Google TV is for the living room environment; keep this in mind while developing apps. Google TV is Android based, so Java and web developers have a great platform and tools available. It is pretty easy to migrate existing Android apps to Google TV. Check out developer.sony.com
How hard was it to move the Revision3 Android app to Google TV? It was not that hard. We modified it some so that a single application could be used on phones, tablets, and TV; and the app would adjust automatically for the screen and capabilities.
Is there a future in which I can have my own “channel” via an app, regardless of content source? It depends on the content owner. You can develop an app that can do this from a technical perspective, but you need to look at who owns the content.
What makes the Sony products better? A new remote control, that is dual sided, one side is a keyboard, the other is touchpad with only a few buttons. This remote will come out with the new devices this summer.
Has Google TV started to rollout internationally? Not yet, but we are working hard with partners like Sony to get this to as many people as possible as soon as possible.
What are your favorite apps and things to do? Pandora, Revision3, Chrome, Classy Fireplace, YouTube, Netflix.
Do you see a future where Google TV as a platform becomes rich enough to compete with game systems? Google TV is an open platform, and our strategy is to bring technology together. If developers do it, yes, but that is not Google’s end goal. But it is possible that a company develop a system on top of Google TV.
Will the optimal YouTube experience be on TV? Yes. YouTube is very important. There is a lot of video content, and it just makes sense to put videos online. But since there are so many videos you can get “lost in YouTube”. On TV people want a longer and consistent viewing experience, YouTube on Google TV can deliver that experience, and we are constantly updating to achieve that.
Are remotes interoperable? Will they be in the future? In terms of remotes ther are the hardware solutions, but there are also software solutions, like the Google TV Remote and Able Remote apps.
How will Google TV handle ads like those on YouTube? Unknown at this time for YouTube in specific, but it is up to the developer how they want to advertise.
People do not buy a new TV every year or two like they do phones. What are the long term update plans? Our path is to buy a new set top box every couple years.
Any plans to eliminate the remote from the experience? Yes, but not yet, when it is good for the technology.
Will you have caching ability to the system? We have worked with Dish network about this, but it is not included in an API.
Will other Sony devices, tablets and controllers for example, be integrated with Google TV? Yes, more to come.
Will Sony have a hackathon? We are putting a few of those together.
Google TV is linked quite a bit to the device, how can you give buyers confidence?
(I asked this one) Has the Google TV interface been customized at all, like many phones and tablets do? Nope, just the standard UI. (Which I think is great, if you can’t improve it then don’t change it, you’ll just get in the way).
Will there be a “Nexus” or unlocked Google TV device? I cannot answer that.
Are you entertaining any thoughts of making Google TV a media server like a desktop can be? Yes, and there are a couple apps for consuming data.