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Google TV - the remake without the stars


Published: 18 November, 2011


If you could redesign Google TV, you wouldn't start from where it is now. For a start you would base it around HTML 5, not Adobe Flash, because Adobe has already left Flash behind. And you would have picked a bigger set top supplier than Logitech, because it has already lost its enthusiasm for the battle and pulled out. You might also have based it on a chip that was dominant in the Android sector, based on ARM designs, and not have left it for Intel to supply the chip, which was alien and which led to Intel pulling out of the retail video chip market.

From where Google TV is today, entering its second design on the back of an obsolete video technology, leaving an obsolete chip, with a TV maker that is about to launch its own online video service (Sony) and a set top maker who has lost $100 million and has said "no more," makes for a pretty poor start.

This leaves Google on its own backing Google TV and we all know from examples like the Nexus phone, that Google it not a retailer the likes of Amazon, well versed in shipping brand new devices.

The only hope for Google is to make hay while the TV manufacturing market is in a state of oversupply, with all TV makers looking for a lifeline. LG has said it will make Google TVs, but will it really follow through on the promise given the weaknesses of the product so far?

Yes Google TV 2.0 is much better, and yes we'd all like to be able to browse the internet on our TV at some point, and perhaps watch internet held video there, but is this the way to go about it, gifting all that capability to a single company, who does every layer of jobs in the stack? We're no longer so sure.

Google needs a new strand of innovation, some inspiration to trigger this market, and at least two or three new partners or Google TV 2.0 will sell in even lower numbers than Google TV 1.0, despite the improvements.

For a full analysis of this subject go to and order this week's Faultline issue.

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