In the race for who can win TV, it's been Apple-this and Apple-that, but the once-shamed Google's been making serious moves lately. We're talking really serious: Google might even be on its way to cracking the TV code. At least that's what The Wall Street Journal's Sam Schechner and Amir Efrati report, hearing that Google's considering a plan to offer paid cable-TV services. "Google has looked at ways to expand a previously announced project to build a high-speed Internet service in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., adding video and phone service in a mirror of offerings from cable and telecom companies," write Schechner and Efrati. That move could possibly lead to what everyone really wants: cable TV options without cable. But forget the what-ifs and buts, Google's already revolutionizing the TV. Or at least moving things along.
Steve Jobs claimed to have cracked the Apple TV code but it's going to take Apple at least another year to get its act together, Google's fixing its once-awful product. When Google TV first hit the scene it had two big problems: the hardware and software were unimpressive and there was nothing fun to watch on it. Apple's trying to learn from the latter mistake by cutting deals with makers of TV, but failing so far. CBS CEO Les Moonves revealed on an earnings call yesterday that the network had turned down an Apple offer. Meanwhile, Google's throwing a bunch of strategies at the wall to see what sticks. Making a box that gets you TV without having to subscribe to cable hasn't really been working out for anyone, so Google's making its own TV. Just last week it unveiled a series of deals with celebrities and production companies to create roughly 100 free, ad-supported online YouTube channels.
Google's also been working on its other big problem: It's crap product. Google's first try was slow and the search didn't work very well. This week, Google fixed its TV up a bit, unveiling a much better version that sorts and organizes offerings across streaming service and has some 21st century innovations, like Twitter integration. It's still not a TV replacement, but at least it's different than a box that just streams Internet stuff onto TV. It in some way enhances the old-school TV watching experience.