Fools Debate: Apple TV vs. Google TV in the War for Your Living Room

The combatants in the Apple TV vs. Google TV throwdown. Source: TechRadar.

Tech companies haven't been shy about their plans to disrupt the business of entertainment. (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) joined this fray this week with the release of its Fire set-top box. Does have the specs to muscle in on the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) TV vs. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) fight? Which shareholders will come out happiest when the war for the living room finally ends?

Host Ellen Bowman puts these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says that the Fire's disruptive potential hinges on gaming, though he expects both Apple and Google to serve games through their streaming devices at some point. In choosing between the two for the long term, Tim says he likes Google's strategy.

Why? Rather than focusing entirely on devices such as the Chromecast, the search king is also exploring ways to disrupt cable and satellite distribution via Google Fiber. A rumored plan to sell wireless service through a third-party carrier could also help bring entertainment directly to the home while bypassing the major cable operators.

Nathan agrees that Amazon is a scary competitor. Yet the market is also in its formative stages, and all three companies should continue to profit for the foreseeable future. But if Nathan has to choose one for the long haul, he'll take Apple for two reasons.

First, the Mac maker's only mission is to make customers happy. Hewing to that standard allowed Apple to sell 10 million set-top boxes last year, resulting in more than $1 billion in revenue and an 80% year-over-year increase. Second, Apple has a long history of producing innovative hardware that captures consumers' imaginations, such as the iPhone.

Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. What side would you bet on in the Apple TV vs. Google TV throwdown? Please watch the video as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and be sure to check back here often for more 1-Up on Wall Street segments.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2014, at 7:34 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    I really think the only war is in the minds of those who write about it.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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