Google TV is an internet-connected television platform. It was announced by Google on May 20, 2010 at Google’s Google I/O event and was co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech. Google TV integrates Google’s Android operating system and Google Chrome browser to create “a new experience for television”. Google TV officially launched October 6, 2010 with devices from Sony and Logitech.
Media outlets reported in March 2010 that the Google TV project was underway, using the Android operating system, although the partnering companies did not confirm their involvement in the venture until later.
An Android-based set-top box that featured video-on-demand, ThinkFree Office viewer software, a browser, remote control, keyboard interface and 1080p video was shown by Western Mediabridge at CES 2010.
The project was officially announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference on May 20. Google stated that the new platform would be incorporated directly into new high-definition television sets and Blu-ray players by Sony, although set-top boxes would also be developed by Logitech. The company indicated that the new systems developed by Sony and Logitech would be powered by Intel Atom based CE4100 consumer electronics system-on-chip. It also stated that a "fully optimized" viewer experience would be available through the Dish Network, although the platform would operate through any provider.
In May 2010, Sony announced that it would be releasing its Google-enabled Sony Internet TV product lineup in the fall of 2010, including standalone TV models and set-top units with integrated Blu-ray drives.
On November 10, 2010, DISH Network L.L.C. (Nasdaq: DISH) announced that DISH Network's Google TV solution was available to customers. DISH Network's Google TV solution, which requires a DVR integration service, includes the Logitech Revue with Google TV, a small set-top box.
On December 15, 2010, Google announced first Google TV update with some bug fixes and four major improvements: namely Netflix streaming catalog, Dual View, Remote Control App for Android Phones and Movies search results.
Google TV leverages many of Google’s existing products. Google’s Android operating system provides the underlying foundation, allowing developers to create applications that extend the system’s functionality. Google’s Chrome browser provides a gateway to the Internet, allowing consumers to browse web sites and watch television, in tandem. Consumers can access HBO, CNBC, and content from other providers through the Chrome browser. Partners have built applications that allow customers to access content in unique ways. Netflix, for example, has built an application that allows customers to access Netflix’s large library of movies and television shows. Android and Apple phones will be used as remote controls for Google TV. Google TV products ship with wireless remote controls with a full QWERTY keypad.
* Sony Internet TV - 24", 32", 40" and 46" models (NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1)
* Sony Internet TV Blu-ray (NSZ-GT1)
* Logitech Revue (PN 970-000001)
According to a Bloomberg report, Toshiba and Vizio will unveil Google TV devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011
Google TV has been met with mediocre reviews. Nilay Patel, of the tech blog Engadget remarked, “Google TV feels like an incomplete jumble of good ideas only half-realized, an unoptimized box of possibility that suffers under the weight of its own ambition and seemingly rushed holiday deadline.”
Kevin Sintumuang said of Google TV in his Wall Street Journal review that, “The potential is as big as, well, the Internet, but right now Google TV is a bit of a tease.”
The New York Time’s David Pogue had similar sentiments, saying, “This much is clear: Google TV may be interesting to technophiles, but it’s not for average people.” Concentrating more on the product's usefulness for finding and watching television shows than on its Web browsing capabilities, he also expressed concern about the inconsistencies throughout the user interface as well as the fragmentation of Google TV.
In fragmentation, known to marketers as product differentiation a product is launched by many different companies presenting similar, yet different products using the original product, which may not support the same features. The Android operating system serves diverse hardware from many companies, with more diverse feature sets than for Apple's comparable offerings. These include mobile phones larger and smaller than iPhone, and tablet computers larger and smaller than iPad. As in other fields, diversity has both advantages and disadvantages.
Cable providers as well as content providers have been slow to warm to Google TV. NBC, ABC, CBS, and Hulu have blocked Google TV enabled devices from accessing their web content since Google TV's launch. As of November 22, 2010, Google TV devices are blocked from accessing any programs offered by Viacom’s subsidiaries. Of the cable providers, only Dish Network has embraced Google TV. Dish Network is promoting Google TV, offering customers a discount on the Logitech Revue. Roku, Boxee and Apple sell hardware with similar functionality to the Google TV offerings.