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Google TV might be just the answer to your problems

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google-tvAccording to reports; there are rumours swirling around Wall Street that Google is currently negotiating with content providers with plans to launch Google TV a content streaming service along the lines of Hulu and Netflix. It seems that unlike the YouTube premium channels, this is a separate brand that has the official sanction from Google and is aimed at providing content along the lines of American TV networks such as ABC Family and The CW networks. There were claims that some people have actually seen the demonstration of what seems to be a prototype and were impressed.

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If Google succeeds it will mean that you might be able to legitimately access American TV shows the same way you access Google’s services via your internet. You might be even able to benefit from Google’s numerous cache servers. However that is if, and that is a big if, the service is availed to countries like Zimbabwe. That is up to the content providers, the same people who have successfully prevented Hulu and similar products from providing services outside America. If there is anyone who can use their leverage to overcome this it’s Google. On the other hand if you consider the fact that we are still waiting for Google Music to launch here then there is no reason to be particularly over optimistic.

I do not believe in omens but the timing could not be more propitious for Zimbabweans who currently lost their access to SABC channels.One of the things that you quickly realise as a Zimbabwean internet user is that legitimate access to premium entertainment that is available to you is pretty limited. All those popular sites such as Hulu and Netflix are geoblocked with the promise that they will be availed to you soon. The same applies to some of the best paid channels on YouTube; they are simply not available to you.

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Oh sure you could bypass the restrictions using a US based VPN or perhaps use a US proxy but the truth is that this is more like cheating the system rather than gaining legitimate access. Even so the workaround is likely to be beyond my cousin sister’s IT skills that means a lot of people cannot do it. Even if you are able to do this it means you need a good internet connection that has excellent international bandwidth speeds otherwise your best chance is to buy a seedbox and join the pirates.

There are also alternatives like the iTunes store but sometimes you get the feeling some of the prices were set with millionaires in mind. Some services sell episodes for shows like Breaking Bad for as much as $15 which is a far cry from the $7.99 Hulu Plus users in America pay for watching TV shows for a whole month. The list of TV shows that can be viewed internationally for free on YouTube is a bit underwhelming so perhaps Google TV might finally bring the answer we have all been waiting for. It might even prove to be a worthy competitor for MultiChoice.

At the moment Google is still mum about this service and so details are still pretty scarce.This might be just a rumour but I must warn you that there is always something about a Wall Street rumour: Most of them have a way of coming true.


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12 thoughts on “Google TV might be just the answer to your problems

  1. HA!…Google TV actually granting access to Zim?…Not anytime soon I think. However, Google and Liquid striking a content sharing deal?…mmm…..

  2. I think its too early for Zimbabwe to use these services . until we have an average AFFORDABLE internet speeds of 10mbs,YouTube & pirate-bay is the only option we have.

    1. Agree with you on affordability and relevance. At the moment, we’re still behind in terms of accessibility to fast,affordable internet

      Its a good-to-know for now

  3. ‘countries like Zimbabwe’ hehehehehe, asi mhosva yedu chaiyo ndeyei (kana iripo)? Tongo gara takasarira kumashure all the time. Pane zvimwe zvisinei ne Politics or sanctions but still hatilumi.

  4. We dont have the bandwidth for this as yet.We hardly have 10% broadband penetration and fr those who have it is very expensive.

    But certainly something that will become in future if we solve the last mile connectivity issue.

  5. There goes my hope of ever being me, as in, finally discovering my true potential by allowing an enabling environment that shapes a unique identity influenced by people, culture and environment closest to me. How are we ever going grow ourselves if we are so gullible as to crave to have all western content. I’m not against imports but I wonder if we’re ever going to be anything more than the biggest brainless consumers of internet with nothing to put back but our endlessly gullible minds. Google TV can WAIT. I’m sure there’s a young chap cooking something similar at NUST…. at least I hope; and I’m willing to give him/her a chance.

    1. It’s all about preference mate. Tell you what while your young chap is busy dreaming on and battling it out with the licence guys I will be watching Dexter. Even then when your ” African” pals probably in the form of Liquid finally get to it they are probably going to rip you off in a bid to recoup their capital expenditure early.

      1. Is it preference or more of influence because as you go towards central and eastern Africa, they can’t seem to have enough French content and I’m guessing you still calling that preference.

        1. Everything is a matter of socialisation my friend. Just because you are a Zimbabwean does not mean you should not prefer western ideologies or entertainment. That sounds like a Sharia law way of thinking. What is so special about African values or Entertainment? I will not be watching African movies anytime soon because they are poor productions. It has nothing to do with origin for me my friend.

          1. Its not that I do not want to socialize, but then again ideal socialization is where two parties have equal opportunity to relay their thoughts not in your case where you are just but an audience with little or nothing to offer beyond your ears and pocket.
            Its not that I do not want to take advantage of the vast experience and knowledge that the west has through interacting with them but all I am highlighting is the imbalance whereby it appears I am taking way much more than I am giving. Besides Techzim, I do go to other tech sites like Engadget and them all and while Techzim is nowhere close in terms of quality, the important thing is that it easily relates with my environment because it operates within and hence it will grow with me because its audience is not necessarily the Billies and Joes of this world. This is an interesting debate which I feel if you look at it closely its all about stimulating ourselves to rise above being consumers, retailers and dealers to become real innovators that can affect the world. I believe we can do it if we can set our priorities right. It starts with supporting everything proudly Zimbabwean.

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