TO TV OR NOT TO TV

We were in a crowded Apple store the other day and sat down to watch the new Apple TV service while we waited for a relative. We were there for an hour. During this time, not a single person stopped to look at the TV, despite movie trailers going by on the screen.

Does this mean Apple TV is a bust? It may seem great but it certainly wasn’t drawing any interest while we were there. Will this also be the fate of Google TV, coming out October 12th in the U.S. and launching internationally early next year? For that one, you can either buy a new TV that has Google on it, or a separate box expected to cost around $150 that plugs into a TV.

Google TV combines regular TV broadcasts with a digital video recorder (DVR) and Internet connection. You can search for shows and record them from broadcasts or the web. You can choose to get news, photos, music or online games. Many of the 50,000 “apps” from the Android marketplace will also be available. (These are worth the price of admission on their own.) If you’re watching a foreign video, Google will translate the dialogue it as it plays.

Another choice is the new Veebeam which beams anything from your (Windows or Mac) computer to your TV, including Hulu TV shows that have been blocked on other devices. You plug the Veebeam box into your TV and attach an included USB antenna to your laptop.  Veebeam is $99 for the regular model and $139 for the HD model. Get it at veebeam.com. But there will be no translations.

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