Google Needs More Than Search to Make Android TV a Winner

A better interface won't mean much if Google’s Android TV bet doesn't also include big infrastructure investments.

Apr 16, 2014 at 8:00PM

So Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) is planning to give us Android TV. There's much to like, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video. But the company is also going to need more than a powerful, search-driven interface if it hopes to disrupt rivals.

Why? Each alternative has its own strengths. For example, Microsoft's Xbox One already has a voice interface for gaming and TV, and that could improve once Cortana enters the mix. Apple has a wide array of choices, including popular sports programming. Amazon.com's Fire TV adds mobile games playable via a wireless controller. Each set-top-box-cum-console has something that sets it apart.

Android TV needs a better ecosystem to compete, Tim says, and that means making significant investments in the overall experience. Think of faster wireless for delivering HD or even 4K files without relying on the public telecom network. Or local caching in the Android TV "box" for temporary storage of favorite programs so that the viewing experience isn't slowed by Internet hiccups.

No doubt the extra work would require added expense. Yet Google has already shown a willingness to reinvent the TV delivery system with Google Fiber, generally to users' delight. Surrounding Android TV with a similarly improved network should play just as well, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Would you give Android TV a chance?  Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google (A and C shares), and Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, Google (A and C shares), and Netflix and owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google (A and C shares), Microsoft, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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