It seems GTVHacker has done it again, this time bringing Sony Google TVs a software root that will allow access to restricted content from Hulu, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and others. While the root can be filed among the gentler GTVHacker solutions, it still required some extra effort: try four USB drives with at least 5121MB of storage space, and a month of the GTVHacker team’s time.
The rooted version of the software, achieved for Sony’s NSX-GT1 HDTVs and the NSZ-GT1 Blu-ray player, will make the warranty void, but can be reversed. It’s modified Flash plugin by-passes the locks that sites restricting content have placed on Google TV and opens the door for future alterations including a possible adblocker for the browser.
Be advised that messing with your Sony Google TV could certainly have disastrous consequences, but with the tantalizing toys that Sony is releasing in 2012, it might be worth the risk!
[via The Verge]
It’s official: Google isn’t ready to give up on Google TV. In fact, additional footwork is presently being laid to more widely implement and distribute Google TV—in Europe. Google chairman Eric Schmidt has very recently been in Scotland, where Google TV may be released next year, at the Edinburgh International Television Festival where he is giving attendees there a limited peek at what the next generation may hold for Google TV. Schmidt said that Google TV has yet to find the widespread success they had hoped for because it is integrated with a limited selection of TV’s, an appliance which we don’t tend to update more than once or twice a decade, and he suggested that more hardware and content partners will be coming soon, including the possibility of Google TV showing up on Motorola cable boxes as a result of the recent Google-Motorola buy-out. However with major networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS still unwilling to allow Google TV access to web- based content, a great deal of doubt still exists as to Google TV’s potential. We will keep you updated as to whether Google TV makes waves when crossing the Atlantic.
In light of the FCC ruling on net neutrality earlier this week, we revisited the ongoing saga that is the Comcast-NBC merger and what it may mean for Google TV. Part of the original conditions proposed by the FCC is that if the merger is to take place, Comcast would have to make Internet content more available. Well, the FCC has formally announced the rules they are imposing, and it looks like that little clause is still in there.
Per the rules by the FCC, Comcast would have to make any NBC content available to competitors, which includes Internet streaming, “at reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms.” Comcast will also be unable to give their streams a priority over others or to interfere with rival Internet traffic. The verbiage is still a touch vague, so we will have to wait until the deal goes through to fully understand the implications. It seems like the day is drawing near, so stay tuned.
About a month ago we brought up the ongoing saga that is the merger between Comcast and NBC, and whether or not the recently imposed FCC net neutrality rules would force the new joint venture to unblock Google TV devices from accessing NBC’s web content. According to The New York Times, approval talks are now delaying the merger until sometime in early 2011, leaving us to wonder what the final outcome will be.
Part of the terms and conditions of the merger are that the FCC will require Comcast to make Internet content more available, which could extend to Google TV devices. Comcast and NBC have been battling this issue for months, stating that the FCC has been vague about what constitutes an Internet company. Given the fact that the full outcome of yesterday’s ruling have yet to be revealed to the public, something tells me we wont have an answer until the merger actually happens and a formal announcement is made. We’ll be watching this one closely, so stay tuned.
Just when we thought the war between Google and the networks was hitting a catastrophic level, there is now some light at the end of the tunnel. Reports are coming in that Disney and Google are back in talks over getting ABC.com content unblocked on Google TV, which would be a step in the right direction for ending the streaming content embargo.
Disney is still concerned primarily about piracy, stating that Google TV doesn’t fully block pirated content. There’s no word yet as to how close the two sides are to an agreement, and there is no indication as to when they might be complete.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any talk about the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC, and the latest news involves Google TV to some extent. Part of the terms of the merger are that the FCC will require Comcast to provide more content to Internet companies, which could include Apple TV and Google TV. In a recent filing with the FCC, Comcast and NBC said the following regarding online distribution:
“The program access rules were designed to regulate traditional linear delivery of video programming, a market with an established business model. In the nascent, rapidly-evolving online video market where there is no established business model, it would be difficult as a practical matter to compare distributors for purposes of determining whether a programmer had unreasonably discriminated against a distributor.”
All this hoopla over the what is now the four major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) blocking Google TV has got a lot of people talking about the future of the platform. CNET’s Greg Sandoval is certainly thinking about it, and has published a piece today asking what the future holds for Google TV. When Google TV was first announced back in May, many people saw it as Google’s attempt to do away with traditional cable and dish television. Well, now the tables have turned and many people see the networks trying to do away with Google TV.
Since word got out that the networks were first blocking Google TV, Google’s talking points have shifted somewhat. When asked whether or not Google sees the platform as an alternative to cable, the standard answer seems to be that Google TV is not trying to do away to cable, but simply add to it.
We are all very familiar by now with the ongoing saga that is the major networks blocking Google TV devices from streaming full episodes of content from their websites. However, we are starting to understand more about how they are accomplishing the ban, and what hackers are trying to do to work around it.
It seems that now, instead of banning Google TV’s Chrome user string, they are now blocking the Flash Player ID that is unique to the version of Flash on Google TV devices. Hackers are going to continue to find workarounds, and the networks will likely to continue to axe those workarounds. What this ultimately does is show the networks how big the market is for Google TV, and may help encourage them to work out some kind of deal with Google, or adapt to make their streaming content more profitable for users who want to access it this way (like more ads).
Something tells me this is far from over, so stay tuned for the latest in the conflict between Google and the major networks.
Well, it looks like we can cross The SyFy Channel of the list of networks that you can actually watch free content from their websites on your Google TV. Now, attempting to watch any content from SyFy.com results in the message seen above.
The move is not entirely surprising, given that the network is owned by NBC. Still, it was another option for streaming free content to Google TV, and now we are left to wonder which will be next to go.
Update: After doing a bit of digging around, it seems as if this has been in effect since the end of October, can anyone confirm the earliest date they noticed this? As of right now, I have October 31st.
Update 11/5 : Hulu has axed this one too.
Well, let’s see how long this one lasts. It would seem that Comcast’s Fancast (aka xfinity.tv), which allows you to stream content from major networks like Fox, NBC, and ABC (sorry no CBS) works just fine on Google TV using the same user agent trick that used to work with Hulu.com.
So yes, it does in fact work and you can watch all the content found on Fancast on your Google TV, which ironically seems to be pulling almost entirely from Hulu.com. However, the quality leaves a lot to be desired, and in many ways is unwatchable.
So for now it seems that if you REALLY REALLY want to watch this content on Google TV, the option is available to you. I would advice against it though, really.
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