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New version of Google TV coming

It’s no surprise that Google is developing a new version of Google TV

By PETER WHITE

Published: 12 May, 2011

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It’s no surprise that Google is developing a new version of Google TV. Logitech’s recent admission that it sold less than 15,000 Google TV adapters in the first quarter shows how poorly the first version was and has done.

The new user interface is said to be substantially improved, which might not be such a hard thing to do. Reports are that the new version will have a faster processor, although it was the user interface and not the compute power that failed the first version. Google is reportedly developing a version of Android Honeycomb specifically for Google TV that will run third-party apps.

Three other items missing from the original Google TV are as follows:

- Apps for video content: Roku and Boxee have these. It’s far easier on a TV remote for consumers to use a single-click app than a multi-click browser. Heck, even Apple added a Netflix app, going so far as to put it as the first item on its menu for Internet apps.

- Access to online video services: Such services include Hulu, which together with the four major broadcasters and Viacom blocked any browser running on a Google TV from viewing videos on their sites.

- Apps for games

Google may show something new for gaming at the upcoming Google I/O conference for developers next month.

Logitech’s quarterly financial report showed revenue of only $5 million from its Google TV adapter called Revue. Figuring that most were sold at wholesale prices, that is about 15 million units. The goal was $18 million it said, leaving it short by 70%. That’s despite a 19% increase in the Google TV marketing budget.

In the last three months of 2010 the revenue was $22 million, probably reflecting retailers’ purchases for their inventory and the curiosity of early adopters.

Logitech said it’s cutting back on advertising and production but is “fully prepared to re-accelerate those activities at the appropriate time.” CEO Gerald Quindlen said Logitech is still “enthusiastic about Google TV.”

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