AppleTV Gains Momentum, Google TV Lags Behind

Online video is taking up more and more bandwidth, as both demand and quality rise exponentially and companies are quick to catch up with this growing market.  Some have managed to do so, while others are still looking to gain a name for themselves in this arena – two examples of the latter ones are Apple and Google.

Apple TV, the consumer electronics giant’s set-top box, still has a lot of room for growth before it can compete with some of the bigger names in online video such as Roku. In the latest push to try and boost the offering’s growth, Apple rolled out two new features: an iTunes streaming revamp and Vimeo support.

The first new feature now lets users stream TV shows they purchased from iTunes directly from Apple TV, rather than having to purchase shows and stream them from their computer to the set-top box.

“Monday’s software update changes all that, mashing together the feature set of the old and new Apple TVs. Now, the Apple TV can both rent and purchase shows from iTunes, effectively expanding the library that is available to those who browse through iTunes from the couch.”

Apple also added support for Viemo, which introduces several new titles to users.

Apple TV is still a small player in the online video market, but it’s ahead of Google TV.  The latter failed to sell in sufficient numbers due to buggy software, but Google hopes to fix that with the second version of the product.  Until then, Logitech has slashed the price on its Revue with Google TV system from $249 to $99 – the current price tag on Apple TV and Roku 2 X S.

Netflix, the biggest online video streaming service, is doing its best to maintain its leadership position. Despite a good second quarter earnings report, the company cut expectations for Q3 not too long after it split up its unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD-by-mail packages, and consequently raised rates of the now two separate services.

It’s a cutthroat industry that’s emerging here, and it’s one that plays deep into developing mobile trends.  From a platform standpoint, it’s easy to see why Apple and Google are hopeful of the personal cloud and media distribution developments in online video, while companies like Netflix seek the best route towards transitioning into this new era of the personal cloud.