Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Interview with first Google Fiber User

Google Fiber has opened up a Google Fiber connection to a couple of small businesses near their “Google Fiber Space” building just to showcase what it can do.  A few days ago Gizmodo interviewed Max Ross, the first official Kansas Citian to own a Google Fiber connection and he seems pretty positive about the new service.

Ross, the co-owner of Fric and Frac, a neighborhood bar and grill in Westport, Mo., answered Internet-users' question about the service through a live Q&A for Gizmodo.

Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn’t have the TV service setup yet.

Check the interview out at Gizmodo

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Google Fiber TV–Is It’s HTPC DNA SageTV?

Google had their official unveiling of Google Fiber last week in Kansas City and I was watching very closely.  I expected this to be an interesting announcement with it’s fiber-to-the-home bringing gigabit internet (up and down) along with a rumored TV service.  I’m thrilled about both of these services, but especially curious about the TV-side of the announcement.  Now that I’ve delved a little more into this I think the Google Fiber TV just might be bigger than some people realize.

Not only am I very interested in a “better” TV/DVR than what you can currently get from the cable companies – I also live in the downtown Kansas City area where I felt my odds were good for getting Google Fiber.  So yes, I’m likely more interested in this than those outside of the Kansas City area.  But I’m even more excited about this because I suspect there is quite a bit of SageTV Home Theater PC inside of Google Fiber TV. SageTV is a Home Theater PC or Home Media company that Google purchased just over a year ago and it seems that this is what the SageTV team has been working on since being acquired.


I stopped by the Google Fiber Place where they have a large “showroom” to demo some of the ways you can use Google Fiber in the real world.  As you can imagine I spent a lot of time in the Fiber TV section where they had the actual Fiber TV hardware running and where I could see the EPG (TV Guide), menus and settings page.  We switched channels, displayed a guide that looked awfully familiar to this SageTV user and went through some of the menus.  When we were on the settings page I think I caught a glimpse of the words “SageTV” on the page.  The TV show page had similar info and details pages available just like I see on SageTV.  It certainly wasn’t exactly like the last version of SageTV, but it was pretty similar.  Add to this experience you can check this Google + thread where a little confirmation of SageTV involvement was mentioned:


I had a chance to try out the Fiber TV app on the Nexus 7 tablet and that has similar functionality to the 3rd party SageTV web app I’m used to using but in a much improved UI


One last thing to note before I close today – Fiber TV is a Media device with a server/client architecture, just like SageTV is.  It includes music and movies and Google is integrating Netflix and their own Google-brand of instant movies.  The ability to stream your movies and music and ge the super-powered DVR with tuners that work on all content (Read: not blocked for certain channels or requiring CableCard setup) makes this HTPC enthusiast very, very happy.  I don’t know how much SageTV is inside Fiber TV, but I’m pretty confident it has quite a bit inside.

Lots of questions from the HTPC crowd to talk about here such as: what about plugins, DRM on movies, commercial skip etc.  I’ll have more to say about Google Fiber TV soon.  Stay tuned.

Monday, July 30, 2012

GeekTonic Rises

GeekTonic Logo

It’s been a nice, long break away from blogging these past many months.  Back in September of last year I mostly gave up writing on GeekTonic except for the weekly TV-centric posts and then in February I even stopped those.  Near the end of last summer I was already burning out but I tried to stay with it – it just wasn’t in me.  I invested a ton of time & energy in this thing because I love technology, especially when it’s mixed with media of all kind.  But the time spent on the day job mixed with preparation for a pretty major move (for me at least) finally pulled me away.  Today I decided to ease back into blogging on a smaller scale.

Articles will be less often and might be a mixture of topics.  I might at times really focus in on things such as Google Fiber, Apple TV, my transition from a suburban home mega-HTPC setup to a smaller, urban loft and who knows what else.  This will be me not following any of the advice I’ve read and learned about blogging, but I hope you’ll still enjoy reading.  I’ve had a lot of people encouraging me to get back into the game including family, friends, subscribers, twitter followers and Google + friends.