Thursday, September 28, 2023

Google TV Live TV

I mentioned last week that I was going to focus on Google TV more. I said Chromecast, but that's the interface it uses, so I'm essentially using Google TV more.

Just to be complete, Google TV is the interface that runs on Android TV, which is available on many different devices, including Chromecast. There are some devices that run Android TV that don't have the Google TV interface. There is a difference, but not really my focus. Think Chromecast, and how it work. Or Nvidia Shield, if you prefer. Or Walmart's Onn streaming box, if you are budget-conscious. They use basically the same interface. I'm primarily talking about Chromecast. Got it? Good.

The other day, I talked about the Google TV home screen. I had planned on talking about Live TV, but never go to that. Today, I'm going to talk about the Live TV section of the interface.

Google TV's Live TV section has content from Pluto TV, Tubi, Plex, and Haystack News, as well as its own content of (as of today) 104 live streaming channels. All together, Google TV offers over 800 channels of content.

Is that really a good thing? Yes, and no. Mostly yes, but quite a bit no. Let me elaborate.

Somewhere along the way, the amount of content is too much to dig through. Sometimes, you simply want to watch something from a manageable number. If a service offered 10-thousand channels, would you really be able to go through them and pick out what you want to watch? I think not. That's too much to navigate. By the time you went through it all, you wouldn't have any time left to watch anything.

So, if 10-thousand is too much, what about 1,000? That's a lot. If you spent 3 seconds looking at each channel, it would take nearly an hour (50 minutes, actually) to go through all 1,000 channels. So that's too many, in my way of thinking.

What about 800? That's still 40 minutes of time to scroll through, at an average of 3 seconds to look at what each channel is and what's playing on it. That seems too many.

What about 100? That works out to five minutes. That's still a long time to figure out what you want to watch, but it's 10 times faster than 50 minutes. That's manageable.

Well, maybe Google thinks so as well. Remember I said Google TV has its own content along with content form Pluto, Tubi, Plex, and Haystack News? Google TV has 104 of its own channels. Many, if not all of them, are also available on Plex, Pluto, Tubi, and Haystack News. Google TV's channels are a "best of" it seems.

These are channels with which Google has worked out a separate agreement. It includes content from other services, such as Xumo, Filmrise, and more. My two favorites, two channels that I can always go to and enjoy, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Classic Doctor Who, are there. They're also on Pluto TV, Plex, and Tubi, but Google TV has its own agreement to carry them. And many other channels, some of which I enjoy as well.

I really like the lineup. It's manageable, and has my favorites. I like what they've done. They've picked quality over quantity. Of course, if I didn't like those, and liked other content that Pluto TV has that Google TV doesn't, then that would make a big difference. But, as it is, I like how they've implemented this.

My Streaming Life has had a lot more Google TV in it lately. That's by design. And it may continue after this trial period is over.

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