Sunday, January 9, 2011

Samsung To Roll Out Google TV Blu-ray Box

CES 2011 was surely not the big Google TV event many would have predicted a month ago, but Google is making subtle progress to build its army of supporters.

Samsung GoogleTV Blu-ray box. Not pretty, but hey, it's a start.

Samsung GoogleTV Blu-ray box. Not pretty, but hey, it's a start.

Following Vizio, Samsung also said that it will soon be offering a networked Blu-ray player that will integrate Google TV functionality. The device will include a “full QWERTY keyboard”, Samsung said. There was no pricing information available, but we know that the box will make its way into U.S. retail during the first half of this year.

Interestingly, Samsung did not announce a smart TV that actually comes with Google TV right away. Could this be a cautious move? It could, but we do not know. What we do know, however, is that Logitech has apparently not received a note from Google to hold back the Revue Google TV set top box. In fact, a company source said that Logitech was simply sold out.

Google TV is still a product that could swing either way for Google. The hardware support is definitely there and strong enough to embarrass Apple’s Apple TV sales. Vizio and Samsung could become two strong players that could cause more than just a headache for Apple – as both have already in the market what Apple needs: A real TV business. However, Google TV’s problem is that it simply has not enough content. Just because Google TV has Google in its name will not be enough for Google to succeed.

It will need to find ways to work with Hollywood to get more content and avoid a scenario similar to Intel’s Viiv. Announced in 2006, Viiv was canceled later that year, as it emphasized the Pc over the TV experience and lacked interesting content.

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