With the Internet TV model not quite perfected, the field is wide open for predictions and theories on what the future holds for the seemingly inevitable conjoining of television with web offerings. With plenty of declarations flying around, let's take a look at the probability of these predictions.
Google TV Dominance by 2012
"By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded in it," predicted Google's Eric Schmidt at the Le Web conference. Google's working on an uphill battle here. It's TV product has yet to wow the masses. Google TV 1.0 flopped. The second iteration got better reviews. But was nothing revolutionary. To change that, Google would have to not only make a better product, but change the entire state of Internet TV, which is currently stuck in this useless streaming box in between land because of the stand off between cable companies and streaming-services. And let's not forget competition. Why Google, when lots of other companies, including Apple and Microsoft have offerings out. Apparently, Google is in talks with cable companies to distribute some TV channels. If Google TV were to somehow work this into TV, then they might have something desirable. But to get that done in the next six months: unlikely.
The Next iMac Refresh Will Include Apple TV
An analyst recently predicted that Apple will add TV capabilities to the next iMac refresh. "Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market," Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair told AllThingsD's John Paczkowski. It makes sense that Apple's TV efforts would involve a pretty product. And it has been rumored that Apple has a prototype big screen TV in the works that will involve Internet. This seems like a semi-logical step toward that. Only semi-logical, because it's not clear what a Mac TV would offer that an iMac doesn't already do, considering Apple TV is just an extension of Internet offerings hooked up to a TV. Apple hasn't announced the next iMac refresh, giving Apple time to deliver. Though, the not-very-dependent Apple rumor mil predicts an overhaul sometime in 2012. 12 months to combine two products that already exists seems reasonable.
Verizon Will Offer Internet TV by 2012
Verizon has been in rumored talks for their own Netflix-esque services on the Internet within a year. Getting all of its TV offerings online within a year sounds unlikely, considering programmers are reluctant to jump into the web for fear of tarnishing relationships with cable providers. But from the Reuters report, it sounds like the content would be limited, looking more like Comcast's online deal, with limited offerings. Considering Comcast succeeded back in 2009 and that Verizon already offers a version of this via the Xbox 360 Live, this seems very reasonable.
Revolutionary Apple TV Coming in 2013
TV: yes; Revolutionary: probably not
After Steve Jobs claimed to have "cracked" TV, some speculated that Jobs figured out how to create more than just a streaming box and that apple would release that TV by late 2012, early 2013. That Apple will release a revamp of its prototype TV seems inevitable. Many have reported a TV in the works. But that doesn't mean Apple has a cord-cutting product in the works. If anyone can convince cable companies to get on board, it's the man who got record companies on board with iTunes. But Jobs isn't exactly around to do that. However, Apple does have the creator of the iPod and iTunes, Jeff Robin, working on the Apple TV project. But considering all the roadblocks, Google and others trying to crack that code have hit, it's not looking like a sure thing.