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The scoop on Google TV
By Dave Winer on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM.

A picture named eyetv.jpgI wasn't at the announcement today, but I'm very interested in this area, having gotten my TV through a computer for the last four years or so. Google TV sounds interesting, and I will certainly get one. But I had to zoom in on what made it different, so I issued a challenge on Twitter and we eventually got to the core difference between the Google approach and the Apple approach. permalink

With Apple, you can buy an Apple TV, as I did -- and found it seriously lacking, so I gave it away. The other choice, which is the one I use, is to hook up a Mac Mini to a regular big-screen TV, using a converter to translate DVI to HDMI, and using an optical cable to connect the sound so the digital converter in the receiver does the conversion. The theory is that the audio equipment does a better job than the computer equipment of digital-to-analog conversion. permalink

I've been generally happy with this approach, but recently I switched to an old PowerPC tower Mac that I wasn't using. It has more horsepower than the Mini, and you need it if you want to do stuff (like browsing, emailing and tweeting) while watching a digital signal through an El Gato converter.  permalink

Okay so how does the Google device compare? permalink

It's going to be built into the TV so it's one less box and one less set of cables. It should be cheaper. And the user interface will probably be slightly simpler. All of which are good reasons to do the product, and good reasons to get one. I hate the wire clutter that comes with using computers and am actively doing things to reduce the clutter. permalink

Will it be Android or Chrome OS? Haven't gotten that far yet -- if you have data, please post comments or links.  permalink

What I'm really waiting for is Cannon to integrate Android and wifi with a nice camera. The camera on my Droid is pretty nice, but Cannons take better pictures. I'd also like a very simple programming interface so I can write my own software -- but there I have pretty much abandoned hope. This is Google after all, and they are the high and mighty priesthood, a prototype for the Cathedral made famous by Eric Raymond. I didn't think it was possible but they're more like Microsoft than Microsoft was. (At least Apple is honest about being proprietary and locking its users in the trunk.) permalink

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