Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google Fiber gets formal launch, Fiber TV is also now launced

Does any one remember that Google project to get fiber internet to Kansas City? Well it is there, and now there is a formal launch, which also includes Google Fiber TV.

Google calls Google Fiber TV a "real" TV service with recognizable channels and its own, fully searchable interface that mixes DVR results with Netflix and YouTube. As many as 500 shows can be stored in full 1080p HD, and several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time. There's also a major mobile component taking advantage of that 1Gbps fiber link, as users will have the option of browsing, sharing and eventually watching live TV directly from tablet apps.

In addition, Google is talking about a new service that allows Google+ video hangouts.

On the hardware side of things, Google has its own dedicated Network Box with a four-port gigabit Ethernet router and 802.11n WiFi, a TV Box with live viewing and a WiFi access point as well as a Storage Box DVR with 2TB of data and the ability to record eight shows at once. Your remote control is going to be a Nexus 7 tablet.

The overall service will come with 1TB of Google Drive space, although it can be expensive: a $300 dollar "construction fee" to get fiber cables wired up to your home. Good news is that the fee is currently being waived.. 

Three packages will be on offer, starting with a Gigabit + TV package that includes the essentials, all major channels and "hundreds" of fiber channels, including on demand content for $120 a month. Skip traditional TV and it costs $70 a month, and if you're a local resident willing to pony up the construction free, you can get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years.

Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free, as well. Only small slices of Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas state should have access at first, but Google is conducting a six-week "rally" where the most people paying a $10 pre-registration fee dictate where Google Fiber goes next.

Now, lets hope other cities follow suite.

The event is in video below. It is over an hour, so just letting you know. If you do have problems with the video, please let me know.