I was pretty late to the Sony Google TV party. Price was definitely a barrier. But last fall when the prices dropped I picked one up as a “spare” TV. About the same time, Time Warner Cable offered me a bundle of a home phone, internet, and digital cable for only a little more than I was paying for broadband internet access. I had been living without cable TV, but this put me over the edge and I picked up their “bundle”.
I had been sorely disappointed with Hulu Plus as an iPad app because many of the programs I like to watch were blocked for viewing on mobile devices. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the TWC iPad streams my cable channels to the iPad beautifully (as long as I’m on my home network). In addition, I can change channels on my Google TV from the app without changing over to the Google TV remote app I have on the iPad. I can also schedule shows directly from the app. The interface is far superior to the interface on their Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HDC set-top box.
Like Tivo, TWC also lets me remotely access my set-top box via their web app. I can schedule shows from any computer on which I’m logged into my TWC account. Not nearly as elegant as their iPad app, but I can schedule a recording from a friend’s computer not on my home network.
I am using the IR blaster provided with the Sony Google TV to control the set-top box. It works very well. In the video, I share a quick tip for how to avoid needing to use the yellow and red buttons which don’t work with this common set-top box. Hitting the tab button allows me to flip back and forth between two channels. I have a low tolerance for watching commercials, but you might use this feature to watch two simultaneous games for example.
I’m guessing that when the trial period is over, I will once again cut the cord, but for now my “spare TV” setup is almost as fun to use as the HTPC in my home theater.