Google TV vs. Apple TV, part 1: interface, YouTube, Netflix

Of course the primary difference between Google TV and Apple TV is that the former is meant to provide some new content and integrate with an existing supply of content (from your cable or dish supplier) and the later is designed to deliver content with no regard for existing television programming. But there are plenty of other differentiators and I wanted to explore them on video. Here is part 1 of the series.

In this rather lengthy video, I take a look at UI, YouTube, and Netflix implementation. For those of you who want the answers quick, it breaks down like this: Apple’s interface is far more simple and elegant than that of Google TV but Google TV presents many more options than Apple, both in terms of content delivery and interacting with content that comes in from another box (which Apple ignores). Netflix is without a doubt better on Apple TV. The experience is robust and sexy, whereas Google only lets you look through your instant queue. Netflix feels very beta on Google’s end. GTV has the right idea with the YouTube “LeanBack” interface, which should make browsing the site fun and simple, but again, Apple’s is just easier to use. GTV’s YouTube experience is a bit clumsy.

So far, I think Google TV has massive potential; more than I see in Apple TV. But Apple’s polished product has a good head start on GTV and since Google is chasing integration with the very core of most Americans’ viewing habits, they’ll need a much more seamless and simple experience than Apple’s to really succeed. That said, I love the potential I see in Google TV and enjoy having as an option. Though, I do think the quality of the dish or cable service paired with Google TV is crucial in a consumer’s perception of GTV.

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