Hollywood has the vapors!
Google revolutionized the way people access information. Now it wants to transform how people get entertainment.
The search giant is touting an ambitious new technology, called Google TV, that would marry the Internet with traditional television, enabling viewers to watch TV shows and movies unshackled from the broadcast networks or cable channels on which they air. Users would need to buy a TV or set-top box with Google software that could connect to the Internet, along with a keyboard to type commands. Users could also use their iPhone or Android phone to operate Google TV.
The prospect of Google getting into television frightens many in Hollywood, who worry that Silicon Valley will upend the entertainment industry just like the Internet ravaged the music and newspaper industries.
By bringing the Web directly to the living room TV, entertainment industry executives fear Google TV will encourage consumers to ditch their $70 monthly cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of watching video free via the Internet.
Others believe it will fan piracy because Google refuses to block access to bootleg movies and television shows.
And, perhaps most troubling to Hollywood, Google doesn’t yet know how it will make money on Google TV — and whether it intends to compensate the studios and networks for the content.
I am aghast at the very thought of the demise of cable TV!