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Google TV: What We Learned from Version One

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Google TV was a high-profile failure, a rare misstep from the search giant, when it debuted. Don't count it out, though, as Google certainly has the resources to learn from its mistakes.

At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Adrienne McCallister, strategic partner development manager for Google TV, began a panel on the digital living room by explaining what makes Google TV unique.

"Google TV has a bit of a different take on the connected TV space," said McCallister. "Google TV is really about bringing the power of Google services, as well as other third-party services, to the connected TV. We're based off of the Android platform and we're differentiated in the space in a couple different ways. One in that we really want to enhance the live viewing experience, but then we also bring these great Google services like search optimized for TV. We have a TV and movies browse and discovery experience that's personalized to the individual. We also have a custom YouTube experience that we think is the best YouTube experience out in the connected TV space."

McCallister opened up about the failure of the first version of Google TV and explained what the company did differently for the latest release. The user interface (UI) was the first thing to go.

"We definitely learned a lot from the launch of version one, which was back in 2010. We did release a new software update this past fall, what we call creatively 'version two.' What we learned was that one, we needed a much simpler UI. The first version looked like a PC," noted McCallister.

While Google is synonymous with search, it learned that viewers don't always want to search when sitting in front of a television.

"We also, in the first version, had put search front and center, which makes sense because we're Google, but at the same time when people turn on their TVs they don't always want to have to be proactive in searching for something," said McCallister. "We also wanted to make sure that we were opening up and really building on the success of Android, and so with version two we opened up the Google Play store and all those developers for the platform."

For more on Google TV and the digital living room, watch the full video below.

The Digital Living Room

Join experts from all sectors of the digital video world to discuss the ever-changing topic of "the digital living room" and how content producers and creators, service providers, and other video web services will thrive in this new economy. What business opportunities lie in the coming surge of internet-connected TVs? What role does mobile video play in the future of the digital living room and streaming content in general? Come hear what technologies and services are poised to be the market's biggest disruptors and how content owners, producers and distributors can capitalize on them.

Moderator: Peter Kafka, Senior Editor, All Things Digital
Speaker: Brian Miller, Director of Business Development for Branded Products, Western Digital
Speaker: Adrienne McCallister, Strategic Partner Development Manager, Google TV
Speaker: Jeremy Toeman, CEO, Dijit

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