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Updated: 2018-03-02T11:14:16.950-06:00


Google Fiber TV adding YouTube App



Google has begun adding a YouTube app to Google Fiber TV boxes this month.  Thus far my Google Fiber TV box doesn’t show a YouTube app yet, but I’ll be watching for it.

The YouTube app will join the Netflix, Vudu and Weather apps on the TV boxes.  I noticed the addition of YouTube thanks to a Google Fiber Groups discussion that pointed me to the Help page that describes a YouTube app


I imagine Google will use this as another outlet for their paid YouTube content that we don’t hear much about right now, but I imagine will become a bigger push from Google in the future.

via Google Fiber Product Forums


Google Fiber–The Installation


As described before, it has been a long wait to get Google Fiber installed in my condo – over two years after Google announced that Kansas City would be their first Fiber city.  Finally at the end of January 2014 installation day arrived.  I received an email to schedule an install, clicked a link to schedule and instantly chose the first one available – all of this in a matter of minutes on my iPhone (yes iPhone).  Soon after that I received this confirmation email: Thanks for scheduling your Google Fiber installation.  As a reminder, your appointment is on January 30 from 2pm - 5pm. We’ll be there promptly at 2pm but the installation can take up to 4 hours, so please keep the full time of your appointment available. If you need to reschedule, please sign in to My Fiber or call us We’re looking forward to meeting you and getting you set up on Google Fiber. - The Google Fiber Team The day of the install I received a call from the Google Fiber Install tech.  They were running ahead of schedule and could come by earlier than their scheduled time if I would be available.  Since I work fairly close to my condo I took them up on their offer.  On my way home there I actually drove right by their truck (see photo below). When Google first started their installs in Kansas City they were telling customers it could take up to six hours so I suppose they are getting a little faster with the four-hour max timeframe – still seems a bit long, but better to plan for too much time than to run behind and become like those “other” cable guys right?  The installation crew is made up of two guys – both contractors from ITC services group, but branded as Google Fiber techs.  If you’ve been following along through my last few Google Fiber posts you will note that Google uses a LOT of contractors in this process.  But I will say these installation guys seemed to be very happy with the task at hand.  More on that later. The installation crew arrived carrying the Google Fiber bag  that held all of the hardware for the install including the fiber jack, network box, TV storage box and Nexus 7 tablet (included for free with the TV package!) Google Fiber Hardware Devices: Fiber Jack - 7.5" W x 7.5" D x 1.6" H.- This thing is located inside the home and connects the fiber coming into the home to Ethernet for connection to the Network Box and the home network. This is also known as an optical network terminal (ONT) that converts gigabit symmetric fiber optic signals to gigabit Ethernet. Network Box - 7.5" W x 7.5" D x 1.6" H – this is the wireless router (or gateway device) for Google Fiber.  You can use this as you only router or you can use your own router along with this box if you prefer.  I chose to just eliminate my own router to simplify things for now.  The network box supports a maximum of 16 wireless devices.  The photo below is of the back of the network box: Storage Box - 7.5" W x 8" D x 1.7" H – If you choose the TV package, this box will be the central storage box for everything you record from any of your TV boxes.  For those of you familiar with the HTPC world, this is your HTPC server in a box.  Inside is a 2 TB hard drive that Google estimates will store about 500 hours of TV in HD – so recordings seem to take up roughly 4 GB per hour.  The way it is set up, you can’t record TV to an external device – at least at this time.  You can upload your personal media to this storage box – stuff like photos or home videos. TV Box - 6.8" W x 5.3" D x 1.3" H – This replaces your  CableTV box.  You need one of these at each TV in the home as it controls the TV/DVR/Guide and other functions at each TV.  Note that it does not have a hard drive and instead records and plays content right from the central storage box mentioned above.  For the HTPC folks this is basically an extender running the new version of SageTV firmware.  Hardware-wise it is quite a bi[...]

The Google Fiber Build-out in Kansas City


It has been well over a year since the announcement that Google Fiber was coming to my Kansas City Neighborhood and I finally have Google Fiber installed in my home. While I know we were one of the lucky first to get Google Fiber, it still felt like a pretty long wait. This first post is an overview of what happened along to road to getting fiber into my condo. We first learned that Kansas City would be the first to get Google Fiber in June of 2012 and then that September learned that the neighborhood where I had just moved to would be the 26th fiberhood (aka neighborhood) to be installed. We were told at that time it would likely be a Spring/Summer 2013 install time so we knew it would be about a year before we would get installed. What we didn’t realize is this:  Google was really  learning as they did this fiber rollout.  They were really new to this world and that meant things could be slow at first.  In 2012 I had no idea how true that would be. In August of 2013 contractors dug up streets near our condo and ran the fiber near each building in our neighborhood. There were a lot of scenes like these around downtown Kansas City this past summer: If you want the blow-by-blow timeline and details of the last two years up through September, I go through all of that in this article.  Finally in October a crew of contractors began wiring our condo building.  They ran fiber from the garage area up into each unit. Here’s a photo of one of the fiber runs coming out in the garage ceiling The fiber comes into each unit and is covered by this box.   On the wall it kind of looks like a doorbell unit.   At this point it’s just a fiber wire coming into the house.  A week later we received this e-mail from our property manager: “Now that the internal wiring is finished Google will need approximately two weeks (weather permitting) to finish the final steps of construction. During this time, we will be bringing the fiber from the outside network to the building and finishing the overpull of the fiber. Once this step has taken place, the residents who have selected their package will be placed in a queue to receive a call/email to schedule the in home installation. Google’s goal is to contact you within one week of the building being completely "live and online" (which means 3 weeks from internal construction wrapping up) to schedule your installation appointment. “ So we were looking at roughly another month wait – something like early-to-mid-December.  Unfortunately we found out there was to be yet another delay: “Hello, Thanks for signing up for Google Fiber. We're working as quickly as possible to complete construction for Conover Lofts. We recently discovered an underground damaged pipe that requires additional work to repair. Our installation timeline for your location has been delayed until the middle of February, assuming we do not encounter additional unforeseen delays. We know getting your Fiber service installed is very important and our team will reach out to you as soon as we've completed construction and are ready to schedule your installation appointment. If you have any additional questions, contact us by email or chat or give us a call. - The Google Fiber team” So Christmas and New Years came and went and no Google Fiber.  Next, on January 24th a contractor came by to test the fiber connections from every unit.  All tested out well so on to the next step. The next day, January 25th I received an e-mail inviting me to schedule the final installation in my home.  I took the first available install date on January 30th. Next I will describe the installation process and then get to the good stuff. Yes, this took a very long time from the announcement that Google was coming here.  But don’t forget that Google has been learning as they go here.  They are doing most, if not all of the process described above with contractors and based [...]

Monday Good Reads



Apple's TV Plans Reportedly On Hold Again as Wearables Take Priority – I just don’t see Apple doing “TV” in terms of programming.  Wearables certainly make more sense.

Smart Power Strip set to bring simple, cheap automation to the home (video) – A not-so-elegant, but pretty inexpensive entry to home automation

Every Presentation worth doing has just one purpose – Change.  I guess in a way this is true.  A nice second goal would be keeping the audience awake.

Gigabit Internet in Portland – Portland doesn’t need no stinkin’ Google Fiber… at least in some selected locations.

Why the Chromebook Pundits are Simply Out of Touch with Reality – Kevin Tofel calls those pundits out on their anti-chromebook talk.  His point is they are focusing on the wrong reasons to use a Chromebook.  Anyone out there use a chromebook?