Google-TV

This morning we saw that Google Play’s Birthday Sale is underway, but Google’s not done with the presents – TV shows are now available for sale on the Google Play.

The major Australian free-to-air channels are represented on the service, as well as a number of Foxtel channels. You’ll find shows such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, The Vampire Diaries, Family Guy, American Dad, Mrs Browns Boys and Housos can now be purchased from Google either as an individual episode or (when complete) as a full season.

You’ll also find a few finished shows like Fringe, House MD and The Sopranos. I squealed a little when I noticed my personal favourite, Babylon 5.

Notably, the selection also includes a few currently-airing HBO shows like True Blood, The Newsroom and Girls, although Game of Thrones remains disappointingly absent. (Update: Game of Thrones is now available, but wasn’t when this story was first published)

Google Australia posted about the launch on their blog mid-morning, pointing out that content can be pinned on your device for offline playback (eg if you’re going on a trip) and that the Google Play Movies & TV app is also available on iOS. That last point is important if you live in both Android and iOS ecosystems – iTunes content (except for music) isn’t playable across devices, while Google’s content is. Well played, Google.

Price Comparisons

It’s worth comparing prices between Australia’s digital content stores, as Google seems to be undercutting the iTunes price on a number of fronts.

Google seems to have two price points for content – 2.99 for a standard definition (SD) episode, and 3.49 for a high definition (HD) episode. Which one you purchase will probably depend on your usage needs, your available bandwidth, and your device / TV screen (if any). Seasons are sold similarly, but the price differs by the number of episodes. A HD usually has about a $5 difference in price.

Google also has a number of shows missing entirely from its catalogue when compared to iTunes. While Game of Thrones has turned up since this article was originally published, Doctor Who and Torchwood both remain absent.

iTunes also offers the ability to prepurchase an entire season as it airs on TV (a “Season Pass”), while Google Play often insists on per-episode sales. We also don’t have any indication from Google of how long it’ll take new content to appear for sale after it airs.

    SD Episode SD Season HD Episode HD Season
The Walking Dead (S4) Google $2.99 - $3.49 -
  iTunes $2.99 $42.99 $3.49 $49.99
The Walking Dead (S3) Google $2.99 $23.99 $3.49 $26.99
  iTunes $2.99 $34.99 $3.49 $39.99
Supernatural (S9) Google $2.99 $35.99 $3.49 $40.49
  iTunes $2.99 $39.99 $3.49 $44.99
Housos (S2) Google $2.99 $19.99 $3.49 $24.99
  iTunes $2.99 $21.99 $3.49 $24.99
Babylon 5 (S4) Google $2.99 $13.49 - -
  iTunes $2.99 $14.99 - -
Game of Thrones (S3) Google $2.99 $18.99 $3.49 $22.99
  iTunes $2.99 $28.99 $3.49 $33.99
Doctor Who (S7) Google - - - -
  iTunes $2.99 $37.99 $3.49 $42.99
Torchwood (S4) Google - - - -
  iTunes $2.99 $29.99 $3.49 $33.99

It’s also worth noting that there seem to be some gaps in Google’s library. Homeland only has seasons 1 & 2, Babylon 5 is missing Season 1 (along with a questionable August 2013 airdate) and Game of Thrones Season 2 is missing episodes 2 & 9. We’re sure these will be ironed out in time.

Google also points out that they’ll be adding more shows in the coming weeks.

Chromecast?

Google’s full complement of Play content (Apps, Music, Movies and TV) are finally on sale in Australia, so we have to wonder how long it’ll be before we see a local release of the Chromecast media player here.

With a UK retailer claiming it’ll go on sale there this month, we’d like to think that the Chromecast will come to our shores soon, and hopefully with a similarly low price in tow as its US $35 tag.

Edit: Looks like Google has now updated the Google Play content availability support page to show that Australia has TV Shows.

Will you be buying TV shows from Google? Have you spotted any good (or bad) deals? Is anything missing that tips the balance for you? Let us know in the comments!

Source(s): Google Australia Blog
Thanks: Mark Hurley, and Jezz_X.
  • Jezz_X

    Its nice that they finally have this but I would need to be able to pre buy a season so I get the cheaper season price instead of having to pay for each episode. And since I Imported a chromecast I actually have a decent way to get this onto my TV without that it really is not worth much. I’m not a big tablet/phone watcher

    • Jason Murray

      Some shows have the “season pass” treatment while others don’t. Supernatural season 9 offers it.

      • whispy_snippet

        Last night I purchased the first episode of Rectify in HD. At $3.49 per episode it’s gonna get a bit expensive with no season pass option up front. Hopefully Google rolls this feature out universally very soon.

        On the plus side, the image quality is sensational! House of Cards, Rectify – superb!

  • glennv17

    Seeing Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures on there has made my day.

    • whispy_snippet

      Time to hit the roooooad.

  • Carbs

    I still think the pricing is way too high, its like they are trying to price match RRP of physical media, not blaming Google here as it tends to be the local rights holders setting the prices across all online stores. Almost sounds like price fixing or retail price maintenance.

    But good on Google for making it available for those willing to purchase, competition is usually a good thing in the end.

    • Jason Murray

      I tend to agree on price.

    • Michael Ormandy

      Game of Thrones Season 3 on Blu-Ray is $50+ On Google it’s currenting $23. Can’t complain about that!

  • Michael Reville

    I see Game of Thrones on mine..

    • Kenny

      I see it on mine as well. Seasons 1 to 3 available.

    • Jason Murray

      I also see it! We’ll update shortly.

    • Jezz_X

      It’s even on special at the moment for $10 off the normal price bringing it down to $19 for a SD season and $22 for a HD one

    • Alexei Watson

      I also see the last episode date being late last year, which fills me full of hope that maybe we’ll get access to season 4 as it happens! Finally, an accessible legal method!

      • Jason Murray

        Pretty sure that won’t happen due to Foxtel exclusivity arrangements (even on iTunes).

        • Alexei Watson

          Well, I don’t want to hear them complaining about people torrenting it then.

          • whispy_snippet

            HBO, are you reading this? Do you want Australian money or do you want more piracy? It’s up to you.

        • toast

          Well, that’s the deal. Give me Game of Thrones a day or two after it’s aired, and I’ll pay for it.
          If it’s a month or two later…. I will have found it elsewhere.

  • Jezz_X

    I just noticed Season 1 of House of Cards is on there too I wonder if Americans get that since Netflix wants them to sign up for that

  • Allan O’Rourke

    Many shows are completely out of date. Examples:
    Warehouse 13 is about to air its final season, season five, and they only have seasons one-two available.
    Eureka (which has finished) with five seasons in total, only has three seasons available.
    Archer, currently on season five, only has seasons one-three available.
    The Big Bang Theory, utter confusingly, only has seasons three through seven available, completely missing seasons one and two.

    • Daniel Murphy

      That’s what I noticed. Additionally the shows appear by there local distribution. I.e. Community is being shown as an sbs show.

      Unfortunately from what I’m gathering is that Google is limited to the shows/episodes that have already aired locally. This is possibly the biggest shame of all. I’m not overly excited to have to still wait for local broadcast before getting the digital version.

  • whispy_snippet

    Still a bit pricey but fantastic all the same!

  • JeniSkunk

    My VISA debit card is whimpering.
    There’s plenty of series I’ll be able to buy.

  • Alexei Watson

    If anyone feels the need to test out the streaming capability, or chromecast before throwing money, I just noticed that the pilot episode for community is free, not sure if other shows are structured like that. Bloody good show too.

    • Phil_A_Shio

      Same goes for the pilot episode of “Breaking Bad”!

    • JeniSkunk

      There’s actually 4 shows each with a pilot episode currently free.
      Community, and Breaking Bad have already been mentioned.
      The other two are The Big C, and Justified.

      • Jason Murray

        Justified has become a favourite amongst the Ausdroid team. Highly recommended!

      • Matt

        I added them and they’re all pixely 480p garbage.

  • http://ps3explained.com/ Flame

    Oh god, just in time! I had actually just installed iTunes this week so I could buy a TV show because I was tired of waiting for google to come to the party!

    • Jason Murray

      What was the show? Is it on Play? Enquiring minds want to know…

      • http://ps3explained.com/ Flame

        The Wire. It is $36/season on iTunes. Google have it on sale for $22, although I think the non-sale price was the same.

  • Chris Watson

    This is great news. I’ll definitely be getting a chromecast when available locally. Pricing could be better, especially if they want to end piracy

  • GreviousMcG

    Oh cool, Game of Thrones – season three. Was about to get the DVD this weekend but Google Play has came along and help me save money! Thank you, good sirs for bringing this to my attention.

  • darryn

    Breaking Bad was 12.99 for a season pass but is now 17.99 (SD version). Anyone know when the price will drop again and what site to use?