Google TV will not have a major presence at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas in January, contrary to plans. Toshiba, LG, Samsung and Sharp were scheduled to demonstrate their versions of Google TV next month, but have had to cancel their plans because Google intends to refine its software further.
A Google blog post said the company is building apps to make downloading movies from Netflix easier. Google is also said to be working on an app that would convert an Android smartphone into a remote control for Google TV. This is similar to Apple TV’s remote control app, which converts an iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote. Flashback: Google TV announcement
Other reports, however, say that the decision to revise the TV software was not Google’s alone. Toshiba, for one, has been reported to have concluded that the time isn’t right for Google TV. A company representative said Google TV would not meet the company’s “branding standards” in time to be launched at the CES.
Some people who have used Google TV say that its remote, which has to be a full QWERTY keyboard, can be complicated to use, and that the TV has other software design problems as well. Google earlier failed to deliver its ChomeOS to Internet tablet manufacturers and caused them to miss releasing their products in time for Christmas.
The New York Times quotes a Forrester Research analyst saying that he believes Google isn’t able to meet deadlines because of a problem in its relationship with its partners. The paper says that television manufacturers were caught by surprise when Google suddenly changed its plans.
Sony released a Google TV in October. It is priced at $600 for a 24-inch high-definition flat screen television and $1,400 for a 46-inch version. Sony and Logitech also sell devices which can deliver Google TV service to a regular TV set.
Full-fledged Google TVs are powered by Intel Atom processors and can run the software that a PC can. They deliver pay and watch shows from Netflix and Amazon, and regular TV programming; but don’t get programs from NBC, CBS, ABC and Hulu.
Google TV is good for YouTube videos, sharing and viewing pictures, and for using the TV like a Web browser while simultaneously watching TV. Google will probably use its search function efficiently in the TV. This will be quite unlike the complicated menus in regular TV, but could be similar to the search function that Apple TV offers.
Apple, similar to Google, is building its repository of content in anticipation of growing Apple TV sales. These days, iTunes is renting and purchasing more than 400,000 TV episodes and 150,000 movies every day.
One million Apple TV units will be sold by the end of this week, Apple says. And according to the company, the rise in sales has been largely because of AirPlay – a system to wirelessly transfer data among Apple products, using which it is possible to stream content from the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to the Apple TV. AirPlay was launched recently as part of the latest version of Apple’s mobile and tablet operating system iOS 4.2