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Google TV Apps Compared to Apple TV, Roku & Boxee

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Google (s GOOG) officially introduced its Google TV to the general public today, launching its Google TV website and revealing a little more about apps and content available on the Google TV devices that will go on sale by the end of this month.

The company has struck a number of alliances with cable networks like TNT (s TWX) as well as online services like Twitter and Pandora to make Google TV more attractive and beat the competition from Apple (s AAPL), Roku and Boxee. But with all those choices, it’s easy to get confused by which content is available on which device — so we decided to come up with a handy scorecard that shows you exactly which apps will be available where.

Google TV Apple TV Roku Boxee Box
Netflix X X X Not officially confirmed
Amazon VOD X X
iTunes Store X
Hulu Plus X
YouTube X X X X X
NBA Game Time X X X X X
Pandora X X X
Napster X X
Twitter X Third party app
Flickr X X X

Please note: Both Google TV and Boxee come with integrated browsers, and it might be possible to access some of the content or services listed as not available through this browser. Also, Netflix is currently available via the Boxee PC app, and a company spokesperson told me that they’re aiming to have everything currently available through that application also available on the box.

Finally, this is just a list of apps available today, which will substantially change when Google will introduce Android market access for Google TV, as well as Apple launches apps for Apple TV.

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46 Responses to “Google TV Apps Compared to Apple TV, Roku & Boxee”

  1. I don’t understand why you even have the VS if you can’t put the important info on here? Why. No one cares if Napster is on here. I want to know if Hulu, Netflix, Vudu, Fancast, Veehd, M2k.. The apps you would HAVE a TV for?

  2. if you added a column for a netbook/laptop and ran the same assessment, would every field be marked with an “X”? what do any of these devices offer that i could not get by attaching a designated netbook to a tv? – simple gal seeking quick/accurate/complete response from someone who knows better

  3. you can get YouTube channel on Roku via the private channel option – go to – its also free, other apps available there too. LastFM is also available on Roku as well as a WHOLE LOT more that isn’t mentioned in this article. Channels are being added every day. Roku also is adding 1080p in November and all of its HD units will get the software update. Google will be good to have as far as browsing goes but that’s about it. Personally, I like getting away from the computer. The temptation to work and multi-task is too great. I need tv to relax so I’m sticking with my Roku

    • mom2pekes2

      Is it a desk or laptop? Speed, what size gig/mem/ram/etc? I have a Toshiba lap, an emachine desk/ dell lap. Know they can be hooked up to tv, but have not even attempted to do this.
      Can comp be used for other internet functions when in use for tv?

  4. Neil Golding

    It would be useful to index each of the providers against subscriber base/content in order to produce an aggregate view of which box offers the best service.

    As an example, Google might offer 100 services with smaller providers whilst Roku supporting a smaller number of providers although all importantly Netflix and Hulu Plus, might actually provide an overall more attractive proposition.

  5. Well, when we talk about Google. I am very eager to know latest features of Google. I like the whole concept of Google Tv but not sure if it’s gng to move one step ahead of Apple TV. I know they have an advantage of Google voice but again apple launched the Facetime which is also equally good.

  6. I actually think the “X”s don’t work very well, visually.

    I’d suggest a green checkmark for confirmed Yes, a red X for confirmed No, and a blue “?” for uncertainty.

    All the same, thanks for making the chart :) I appreciate it.

      • mom2pekes2

        Reply to – You guys are hard to please: ain’t it the truth!
        I appreciate the info. Want to eliminate the need for cable or dish. Really need more info on how fast they (all) download. Is a comp needed or just a dsl, or can either be used?
        Since almost 5 months have passed, what has changed in knowledge about the products and is there a site which has an updated comparison chart on ability/ease of use/price/availibility of accessable formats? Chart of any type!?

  7. Word is Google TV will have Hulu at launch too. Let’s not fool ourselves, we all know who’s going to win this fight. Full Android apps, full real web browser (aka with Flash)…

  8. A useful exercise, but I believe that the new AppleTV does not yet show anything like all the itunes content- only the small subset which has been licensed. According to the engadget review ( there’s still quite a bit missing that you might expect. I will be watching with interest to see if the content-owners are willing to license their material for the prices Jobs feels will make the market work.

  9. Thanks for the chart, it was really difficult to assess the possibilities without it. In the same time, I feel that most people already know which apps they want on their TV and will just chose the stream which supports them, disregarding of all the others.

  10. Avneesh

    If not ill informed article, not a fair one. Roku doesnt provide any application, except Netflix. Its open platform where developers have provided most of the applications except itunes (of course).
    -> Youtube on Roku is best in performance, you can create your fav videos subscription/play list, rest is fun.
    -> not native you tube support, which means, cant go without youtube account. Cant search youtube. Youtube (Google) has changed its terms and consitions, and not set top boxes cant support native youtube (only a particular account feeds are available).
    ->Vevo is pretty mush hosted on Youtube now. I have added most of my fav Vevo playlist in Youtube list… all fun.
    -> is available,
    -> Twitter is available as screen saver.

    Along with channels available on Channel stores, there are lot of private channels available,

    I have yet to see any compelling functionality in Google TV…

  11. Chris K

    Talk about getting ahead of yourself.

    GTV and Boxee aren’t even on shelves. WE don’t know the pricepoints and no one has used either product.

    And GTV is a distinctly different product than the others. IT’s a platform not a single device like the others.

  12. John Wright

    @Matthew: research does not support the notion that people want their TV to be a computer. There’s nothing revolutionary about that concept. It was called WebTV and it failed, regardless of more video content available now. Besides geeks, are people really going to sit with a wireless keyboard and a pointing device balanced on their lap/couch? Or are they going to use a remote to hunt and peck an on-screen keyboard to type in URLs and search queries? Or will you require them to buy a tablet computer or smartphone to really make the device usable? Most embedded video in web pages is not of sufficient resolution to be played on an HDTV and sometimes isn’t even scalable to full screen.

    There’s also the issue of converting apps that are intended for a touch UI to be compatible with a simple remote control. Apple has alluded to this dilemma when asked about the absence of the app store. Basically, either you simplify the box and make it something other than a computer or you force people to buy accessories that, essentially, convert the device into a computer. But if people wanted a computer in their living room, many PCs and laptops come with HDMI outs now and that’s a simple hook up.

    • Bkonline


      You put it perfectly.
      Many people today erroneously buy into a technology based on reviews without actually taking into account the technical savviness of the reviewer.
      Tech People (aka Geeks) —myself included, tend to over analyze gadgets down to every details. Whereas majority of consumers out there careless about what is under the hood. They simply want a device that can solve one of two problems perfectly with as little hassle as possible.
      Even when a minor imperfection exist on the product, as long as such shortcoming did not get in the way of the product’s primary functions, average users will never ever realize it talk of counting it as a problem.
      Based on available information on the Google-TV, it will likely cater to geeks and enthusiasts, but not average Joe and Jane that make up millions of TV viewers.

  13. Matthew

    Google TV supports the open web and flash. That’s what sets it apart from the rest (why are people ignoring this? There are MILLIONS of flash video on the web).

    So it does support, for example. There just isn’t a native app, yet. Still, as far as content, it is exactly the same. Amazon runs in the browser, which you count.

    Also, Boxee’s browser is not comparable. It is more similar to the Kindle browsing experience… you can’t even more the “mouse” in Boxee so you’re pretty much limited to video sources that Boxee recognizes.

  14. A lot of content is available on the AppleTV because blip automatically creates and iTunes podcast feed. So the content isn’t under the blip brand but it’s there, in iTunes.

    Consumers are never going to figure all this out. It needs to be simplified and that’s going to take some time.

  15. Julie Herrick

    If you replaced the “Yes” and “No” words in that chart with checkmarks or “X”s for Yes”, and blank space for “No”, it would make the chart much easier to comprehend at a glance. Just a tip.