This story is a great backgrounder on the dyanamics affecting the future of TV and focuses largely on Google TV's struggle to be in the picture.
Hof explains one thing that TV offers that Google does not, at leats not now: the ability to attract a mass audience. Whie Google may offer the equivalent of millions of TV channels, each one has a narrow audience. In contract, TV puts an advertiser in front of millions of people or tens of millions.
"Even without Google's contribution, the consumer electronics industry has already transformed the TV set into a computer that can be connected to the Internet," says Hof. "That means the future of television is now up for grabs: the screen, the industry, even the meaning of the word. Just as the Internet tore through newspapers, magazines, and music, it's now poised to make television the media battleground of the coming decade.
"That's why Google knows it has to be involved, " Hoff says. "If it wants to protect its leading role on the Internet, maintain its prime position in online advertising, and grow into emerging markets, then it can't risk letting other companies control the online experience on the living-room TV. But getting the technology right is only part of what Google needs to do. "
The new on this subject is moving fast. Just last week, Google asked its partners, the hardware companies that make consumer electronics, to delay introduction of their products at the Consumer Electronics Show so that Google can have more times to work on its TV software solution.