Google TV or Apple TV? How about just cable TV?

As far as anyone can tell, cable TV is alive and kicking even as Internet companies like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple try to throw dirt on it.

Google, according to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, "wants to transform how people get entertainment." At the same time, Apple, which is trying to claim iTV as its brand name, is planning to launch a standalone HDTV that integrates its set-top box technology and music downloads.

The Internet-based pair apparently have enough street cred to worry the establishment but not enough to seal a deal. Google, for instance, is facing the age-old problem of getting content to make its TV network happen. "Without content they can't sign on the kind of advertisers who can pay for those coveted high profile show commercials," wrote Seth Weintraub in a Fortune.CNN item.

Apple has its own problems, not the least of which are identifying its service as iTV--a term that has been used to describe interactive TV in a more generic sense. Again, for Apple it all comes down to content and "until it is more successful in wooing studios to sell it their TV and movie content, it will be hard for iTV to replace you existing content providers," writes Saad Fazil in VentureBeat.

Cable executives got a taste--perhaps a whole feast--of this changing content paradigm from the 12 companies selected to present and future technology products at the CableLabs Innovation Showcase.

"There are a lot of companies that are putting together toolkits that we can use to be able to deliver (content) across a wide expanse of different types of devices and technologies and business models," said Mark Coblitz, senior vice president of strategic planning at Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).

The showcase companies brought "technologies to the cable industry that people don't necessarily always associate with the cable industry, for example IP video," concluded ... and opening tremendous opportunities for the cable operators Paul Liao, President-CEO, CableLabs.

For more:
- L.A. Times has this story
- and this story
- see this story
- and this story
- and the Telegraph has this story

Related articles:
Google TV changes the game for TV Everywhere, STB players, consumers
Analyst: Apple TV set, cloud-based iTV on the way
Innovation showcase: The best--or at least the rest--of the rest