Getty Images/Justin SullivanGoogle CEO Larry Page is fond of what he calls, "moon shots."
A moon shot is a project that tries to take what exists right now and improve it by 10X.
This is why Google is doing Google Fiber with 1 gigabit Internet speeds, which is more than 10X faster than a standard Internet connection, with a better customer service experience.
It's an ambitious company working on ambitious projects.
Which is why it should quit pussyfooting around with the TV market, and just build its own full-blown television and integrate it with Google Fiber.
Google has the money, the audacity, and the software talent to shake up the TV business.
Right now, the company's journey into the TV market has hints of exciting innovation, but ultimately comes up short of hitting that 10X moon shot goal.
Google announced the Chromecast this week, a three-inch dongle that plugs into the HDMI port on a TV and wirelessly plays video from smartphones and tablets.
The Wall Street Journal reports Google demoed a new Google TV box at the Consumer Electronics Show to people behind closed doors. The new box was similar to an Apple TV or a Roku, but it had motion tracking and a camera.
Both of these are fine, but they're basically more of the same. They're certainly not 10X above what's currently on the market.
A Google television could be 10X what's on the market.
To make sure it's 10X what's on the market, Google should only sell its television in markets that have Google Fiber because m arkets with Google Fiber also have pay-TV services. This would allow Google to have complete control over the TV experience.
Google could partner with a hardware maker to build a 50-55-inch TV, just like it partners with Asus to build the Nexus 7.
A Google television could have software and apps built right into it, thus negating the need for a secondary box, or dongle. One thing that limits the rise of web-based video on TV is people having to hook up another gadget.
It could have a great layer of software that creates a better search interface. That software could also artfully blur the line between TV through Google Fiber, and TV from Netflix, YouTube, and elsewhere on the web. (It might also generate a little bit of ad revenue.)
Google could use Google Drive to create a cloud DVR that never runs out of space. That Google Drive DVR could be used anywhere — on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone to watch recorded video.
And, in this dream-world scenario, it would only take the user plugging in the TV for it to work.
Why start with Google Fiber? Because Google controls Google Fiber. It could prove Google television as a concept, then take it to other pay-TV distributors like Time Warner Cable, or Comcast.
Sony, and others, have tried to build Google's software into their TVs, but it's failed because Google was new at TV software, and those companies didn't have control over the complete TV experience.
Google should take the lessons learned from other Google TV companies and create a better television, just like it did with the Nexus One. The Nexus One was its first home-made Android phone and it provided a blueprint for other Android phone makers.
Google isn't scared to do hardware. And it's not scared to try something different. So, it should stop dancing around the TV market and just go for it with a Google television.
And, let's not kid ourselves, at some point Apple is going to make a television. Google shouldn't wait for Apple, it should get out in front.
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