Google TV and Apple TV both are hybrid computer/television platforms that are set to change the way you see your TV. Apple TV was released way back in March of 2007 while Google TV was just recently announced at the 2010 Google I/O Developers Conference with the first set (the Sony Internet TV) being shipped around Fall 2010. Polls have consistently showed that viewers are much more excited about Google TV than Apple TV. This market trend is probably due to the fact that Google has not had its name on many home devices and that Apple TV has already been released.
While more of an idea at this point than an actual blueprint, Google TV still is garnering popularity. Unlike Apple’s plan for the television-computers, Google is aiming to put their Android-based software on different makes of TV sets. The Sony Internet TV, for example, will feature the Google hardware alongside market giants such as Intel and Logitech. Hopefully, if they succeed, Google will be the next “Windows” of Internet-capable box sets, with the same operating systems but different makes (like Microsoft utilizes Gateway, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard to distribute their OS).
Apple, on the other hand, is treating their TV hardware like their computer software: both will be done in house versus employing a third party (like Google will do and Microsoft has done). The way Apple TV is hooked up is via a box that is plugged into your own television, which launches the software similar to an Xbox, Playstation, or Wii. This might come as a disadvantage or advantage economically to the computer mega-corporation. The advantage is that people will not have to buy a whole TV just to get Apple TV, they can just plug it into their current box-set without purchasing any pricey HDTVs. This is great for those who will just want to stream Youtube videos, play iPod media, and get Wifi.
The search engine king, Google, is looking to make your TV a computer, essentially. Apple TV will be much more limited in terms of Internet, Netflix, Hulu, and other cool things a normal Operating System can do. Yet, Apple will have the advantage of price, and the famous computer company will actually be on the lower-end on the market for once in its history. Buying a whole new HDTV from Sony might sound enticing, but will the market actually purchase that big bundle? We will simply have to see.
– PC Mag, Google TV vs. Apple TV