Google Tells Google TV Hardware Partners to Hold Off Ahead of CES 2011


sony hdtv with google tv

NYTimes.com is reporting that Google has notified Google TV hardware partners to hold off on showing any new Google TV-powered HDTVs and set-top boxes at CES 2011. It was expected that Toshiba (possibly LG and Sharp, too) was going to unveil a new HDTV and Blu-ray player based on Google TV, but no longer. The company is putting its new products on hold until the Google TV team gives them the green light. The hold up apparently has to do with the Google TV App Market not being ready and, the issue that seems to get worse by the day, TV networks (i.e. ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) not wanting to play ball with the new platform. Odd really since Google TV is essentially a computer tapping the same online sources we all can browse via our PCs without modifications. In any case, Samsung and VIZIO will be the only two OEMs showing off any new goods at CES.

What do you folks make of the situation? As of right now, Google TV’s legs have been taken out because TV networks don’t want to allow them access to their web content. What’s more, it seems many of them aren’t interested in creating TV-optimized web apps that any browser-enabled set-top can use — a loss, really, for everyone in the space. It’s also weird since these same networks had no issue with a new device type like the iPad, which they proactively created platform specific apps for. On the other hand, Hulu Plus will most likely arrive on the platform at some point and Google TV products are already designed to work with your current TV provider’s set-top box, which most likely provides TV episodes on-demand — and not to mention DVR access.

Personally, I can see how Google TV isn’t all that appealing at the moment (though I still like the general idea of Google TV): $149 seems like the right price point (Logitech Revue retails for $249 — was $299), it doesn’t compete capability-wise with a dedicated DLNA/UPnP media streamer (maybe there will be an app for that?), and there’s no compelling platform apps to install yet. All in all, a tough sell for someone who’s already interested in an Apple TV, Roku, Boxee Box, WD TV Live Plus/Hub, or TiVo Premiere.

* It’s worth mentioning, when analyzing Google TV’s success, it’s only been around  for TWO MONTHS.




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Filed in: Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices