YouTube for Google TV updated with new interface and paid subscriptions support
posted on May 16th 2013 by Edgar Cervantes
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When YouTube announced its new paid subscriptions we were rather upset to find out Google TV didn’t support them. Google TV is meant to be the main center of entertainment and media consumption, yet Google’s own video streaming service wasn’t working. Google was quick to fix this, though, and today we are getting a very welcomed update!
Not only does the update fix the paid subscriptions compatibility issue, but it also offers a few extra bells and whistles. The UI was improved with a better-looking appearance, with larger video previews and better sharing capabilities, among a few other additions.
YouTube update improvements
New home screen interface.
Enhanced video playback controls.
Support for paid subscriptions.
You can get the update straight from the Google Play Store! The new YouTube looks really nice, and now you can enjoy your paid YouTube videos in the big screen! Will you be paying for YouTube content, or do you prefer to use other services for subscription-based streaming?
YouTube Spending $100 Million To Compete Directly With Broadcast TV
posted on Apr 12th 2011 at 3:43am by Gamercore
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Over the past few years I’ve been noticing a trend. More and more of my friends are moving away from their cable box and satellite providers, and towards alternatives to fit with their busy lifestyles. With the successful launch of Hulu and Netflix, people are doing away with physical discs and broadcast television and into the brave new frontier of internet streaming. Now, YouTube wants in.
Rumor has it, YouTube has caught wind and they’re spending $100 million dollars to launch 20 channels on the site that will stream content 24/7. These channels will be built around specific content like sports, arts and entertainment. Their goal: watch YouTube the same way you watch your cable television. An always on, always streaming approach. Wall Street Journal reports that programming could start appearing as early as this year with YouTube in talks with major Hollywood agencies to attract new talent and content creators.
I think this would be a great idea for up and coming talent to “make it big” and get their faces and content out to more people. I always had this idea of a YouTube channel on cable television and it looks as if Google might have been one step ahead of me.
Over the next few days, Google will be rolling out an update to its YouTube app for Google TV. You’ll be able to download the update via the Android Marketplace and once you do, you’re in for a big surprise. Some major updates have been made to the appearance and navigation of the app, so you can quickly browse to your favorite content more easily.
In addition, a new features has been added called Discover, which is similar to how the YouTube app on Xbox LIVE works. This feature allows you to browse YouTube videos by their categories, so you’re exposed to more videos in the same category. (Oddly enough, for any Let’s Play watchers out there, there is no YouTube category for video games.)
The channel page has also been updated to take advantage of YouTube’s new layout that allows users to create playlists much easier. These channels can quickly be subscribed and playlists checked out with just a click of a button.
Keep your eyes on your dash for the update, which should be rolling out over the next few days. Like what you see? Let us know how you think Google is doing in the comments.
YouTube for Google TV update brings much needed bug fixes… or does it?
posted on Jun 17th 2013 by Edgar Cervantes
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YouTube for Google TV has just been updated to version 1.7.1. The update doesn’t change much, but it brings some bug fixes people have been begging for. Improvements include bug fixes to the authentication and sidebar issues (problems collapsing).
This is great and all, but after testing the update for a bit I am still running into some problems. My internet keeps disconnecting when I access YouTube on my ASUS CUBE. I get an error and a “retry” option. I can fix it by disconnecting and reconnecting to my WiFi network, but it is still quite the annoyance.
I have seen reports of other people running into similar issues (including the “fixed” authentication bug), so please hit us up in the comments to let us know how this update is treating you. Are you having the problems with YouTube for Google TV?
posted on Feb 17th 2013 at 12:07am by Edgar Cervantes
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We don’t often think about Western Digital when talking about possible upcoming Google TV manufacturers, but the company might be surprising us with yet another great Google TV option soon. WD has posted a job listing looking for a software architect to handle the production of some new Google TV and “Android TV” devices.
“Lead SW architecture design and deployment for android based IP set top boxes. Work with internal and external teams to architect, design, develop, and deploy IP set top boxes based on the Android operating system. This would include Android TV and Google TV solutions.”
We have no idea what they mean by “Android TV”. Maybe they are planning to also release some of those non-Google TV, Android-based set-top boxes. Regardless, Google TV is also mentioned, and the platform does run Android, after all. Maybe they just got a bit too crazy with the wording.
We still have no idea what these products will be like, or when they could be announced/released. We won’t be surprised to see them showing up soon, though!
Time Warner Cable CEO open to bring HBO internet-only subscriptions
posted on Sep 26th 2013 by Edgar Cervantes
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HBO and cable providers have had to fend off millions of unhappy, complaining customers. We have all been begging for HBO access without a TV subscription as we move into an internet-controlled future. Why do we need to have a cable subscription to be able to watch Game of Thrones on HBO Go? Can’t you just charge me to use HBO Go on its own? A solution may be coming soon!
TWC CEO Jeff Bewkes says he is open to the idea of offering HBO Go access without TV, so long as it is bundled with their internet package. This way, the customers would be able to get what they want without having to hurt their relationship with HBO.
Bewkes puts much focus on the way things are moving. He is concerned on how things will work as people get ready to ditch cable TV for internet services. For example, you may be able to get HBO Go and other streamed content with your internet bundle at some point in the future, but the TV business would still be hurt. This means cable providers might have to raise their internet prices to make up for the losses.
It seems to me Time Warner Cable is getting ready for the fight ahead. They keep fighting to keep TV content offline, but there is no way to really stop the monster. Internet TV is coming… sooner or later. TWC has to adapt to the times instead of staying stubborn.
There is a lot of money in HBO and it’s hard for people to get legal access to it. I am sure Game of Thrones wouldn’t have become the most pirated show in history if it was readily available for us to pay for. And this may be finally happening soon. Let’s hope this evolves into much more than a possibility!
Meanwhile, let’s hope we can get HBO Go back on Google TV! I would hate it if cable companies finally allowed us to get HBO Go on its own, while our Google TVs stay incompatible.
Watch new Xbox announcement with us – possible Google TV-killer incoming?
posted on May 21st 2013 by Edgar Cervantes
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Today is a big day for the gaming industry. Microsoft will be announcing its new Xbox console and we are expecting it to be quite the beast. The gaming console is all but guaranteed to sell by the millions, and at GTV Source we are both excited and worried. Excited because it should be an awesome console that many of us will buy, but we fear that it could be the very first dangerous competitor to Google TV.
Google TV has been struggling to get on its feet and is finally making some real progress. We have more manufacturers jumping in and Google is hard at work with software improvements. The platform still has a lot of growing to do, though. And recent rumors of Xbox bringing Google TV-like functionality are worrisome.
According to the rumors, Xbox is set to jump into the smart TV business with the new console. Anonymous sources state that it will work by taking your cable box’s signal and sending it to your TV with Microsoft’s UI on top. Sounds familiar, right? It’s exactly what Google TV does, and without a solid base of apps Google TV could have a hard time competing.
Think about it this way – millions will already be buying the new Xbox, wither it has smart TV functionality or not. If Xbox manages to bring a great smart TV experience, though, do you think users will go out of their way to get a separate Google TV device? We will have to see, but for now let’s stay tuned and watch the announcement, which will start in less than an hour.
Google TV has been the king of smart TVs since its announcement. Though some may prefer other set-top boxes, Google TV holds the most potential. It is an open platform that allows developers and users to make it what they want. Competitors have come and gone, but Google TV continues to be on top for those reasons. We now have a worthy opponent, though – the just announced Xbox One.
How can a gaming console compete against Google TV? Microsoft has been aiming to be the center of entertainment in your living room. Xbox offers a plethora of media and streaming services, but today Microsoft has taken it to the next level. The rumors were right and the new Xbox offers TV capabilities that rival Google TV. Let’s jump in and see how the battle is looking!
Watching TV on the Xbox One
To say the least, I was impressed with the new Xbox live TV features. Kinect works as your remote, allowing you to control your TV via voice and movement/gestures. Since your Xbox is always listening, all you need to do is say “Xbox on” and you will be enjoying your Xbox experience in a matter of a few seconds. From there, you can just say “watch TV” and your live TV shows up.
The usual Xbox interface works as your smart TV UI. Your cable box can connect to the Xbox One, which in turn sends the TV signal to the large screen. It is a rather simple process and TV merges very well with the Xbox experience. The console allows you to watch TV and alternate between other apps and live TV. You can even switch between gaming and Live TV, and it is FAST. It took like a second to switch to and from live TV and other apps during the demo.
Google TV is simply not as fast. There is always a slight delay between watching TV and using apps, making it seem like live TV and Google TV are not really “one”.
TV apps and services on the Xbox One
The Xbox One doesn’t really put a layer on top of your live TV, it takes your TV and puts it in the Xbox UI. The Xbox layout is your smart TV. This means your smart TV apps are essentially any apps the Xbox console offers. Of course, this includes video streaming apps, music services and all the media services you already know from Xbox. And of course, there is the games. If you want to look at it from another angle, you can say the Xbox One is like a Google TV with “real games”.
In a way, the Xbox One both wins and loses against Google TV here. It loses because Google TV is an open platform. Any company can make an app for Google TV and have it offered in the Google Play Store, while Microsoft keeps tighter control on which apps come to Xbox or not. Xbox does have some great quality services and partners, though. Microsoft has partnerships with many streaming services, content providers and TV channels, bringing great content and sometimes exclusive material to Xbox.
Multi-tasking with the Xbox One
You can also use Snap Mode, which pretty much allows you to multi-task with your Xbox One. You can be watching TV and browsing the web at the same time, for example. It’s like PIP (picture in picture) but it looks much more like Windows 8′s pinned apps. The new app pulls off the side covering a whole section on the right side of the screen. This too can be operated via voice and gestures with the Kinect.
I really like the way this works because it keeps TV at the forefront of your experience. The secondary apps would be the ones displayed on the side of the screen. With Google TV, you can use other apps and keep live TV on with PIP. This makes your TV feed small and hidden in a corner, not to mention there is a hiccup while switching to PIP mode.
TV guide on the Xbox One
The Xbox one TV guide looks very solid. Its traditional interface will have people feeling right at home, and it works flawlessly with Kinect. I still believe Google TV’s PrimeTime is better, though. PrimeTime does a great job at integrating content from live TV, Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services. This makes it easier to search for movies or shows from a single source, something the Xbox One’s TV guide seems to lack right now.
Xbox One comes with Blu-Ray
If live TV and streaming is not enough for you, the Xbox one can also offer you Blu-Ray. Yes, Microsoft has finally set itself right next to PlayStation and added a Blu-Ray drive to the Xbox One.
We have had the option to buy Blu-Ray players with Google TV for a long time. This feature doesn’t really worry us when comparing the Xbox One to Google TV. It is definitely worth noting, though.
Is Xbox One better than Google TV?
When I first heard rumors about Xbox bringing this kind of TV functionality, I had to stop and think for a second. Such a popular gaming console would be a serious threat to Google TV if such features were well-executed. Xbox really had to do it right, though, and it seems like they have. Partly because the platform is already strong, but they also did a great job merging the console with TV services. But does it beat Google TV?
In some aspects, it does. At the very least it is a significant threat. The console has content, speed, good integration, Kinect compatibility and, most importantly, a huge crowd of fans. We have to hold judgement until we are able to test the Xbox One and see what it offers in more detail, or if its performance is as good as it seemed during the demo.
One thing is for sure – Google was definitely watching this. If there has ever been a time for Google to sit down and finally put attention to your smart TV platform, it is now. Smart TV is booming and Google Tv has the potential to be the leader in the industry. No other smart TV platform or console has gotten this close to Google TV so it’s time to get moving, Google.
Voice Remote for Sony Google TV now available for $50
posted on Mar 12th 2013 by Edgar Cervantes
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The Sony Google TV (NSZ-GS7) happens to be one of the best Google TV set-top boxes around, but there is one small issue with it. It is not future-proofed with a microphone in the remote, which is essential to the GTV V3 experience. In order to accomodate Sony Google TV users, the Japanese manufacturer has promised to sell a separate remote with an included mic… and it is now available for purchase!
You can get the remote straight from Sony for $49.99, which is not cheap at all. Sony should find a way to give it to current Sony Google TV users at least at a discounted price, but somehow I am doubting that will really happen. We will just have to wait and see.
Sony NSZ-GS7 users still haven’t received the GTV V3 update, so the availability of this remote may be a sign of an update rolling out very soon. Until then, you can get ready and get your GTV V3-friendly remote at Sony’s official site. You could also save yourself $50 and wait until Google updates its Google TV remote app with Voice Search functionality. OR maybe wait for Able Remote to bring us some GTV V3 love!
Watch the Google TV Hangout now: Primetime, Voice Search and YouTube update details
posted on Nov 15th 2012 at 7:31pm by Edgar Cervantes
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The new Google TV updates come as some of the biggest improvements we have seen in some time. Primetime, Voice Search and the new YouTube features strive to make our Google TV experience much more seamless and intuitive. The Google TV team knows this is a hefty update, so they have hosted a hangout focusing on these 3 new features.
The Google+ Hangout has just concluded, and it is now available for your viewing pleasure (video above). Check it out if you want to see more about the new features. They mostly focused on the functionality they bring and user questions, so it is a great way to see where Google TV is headed, and where we stand.
The most important update is probably Voice Search, which will only be available for devices that support a microphone. Sadly, only the LG Google TVs have a microphone right now, meaning you will have to get one of those or an upcoming device to take advantage of Voice Search. Google didn’t comment on being able to use our Android devices or a USB/Bluetooth microphone for Voice Search, but they also didn’t disregard the possibilities, saying “not right now”.
Another bit of important news is that these updates are only being released in the US right now. Our international brethren will just have to wait a bit more (sorry, guys!). Go ahead and watch the video if you want to learn more. By the way, you can now take advantage of the new YouTube features that work with Android, as well as the Primetime app, which is now available from the Play Store for all devices. Go get them!