LG Joins Roster of Google TV Makers
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
January 06 2012 04:35 PM ET
CREDIT: LG Electronics
TV manufacturer LG has announced it will launch a line of Google TVs in 2012. Samsung and Vizio are expected to unveil their versions of Google TV next week along with LG at the 2012 International CES tradeshow in Las Vegas.
So far, Google TV has been a flop. Last year, Sony offered HDTVs and Blu-ray players equipped with Google TV, and Logitech entered the market with a media-streaming device — both faced disappointing results. Logitech discontinued its Revue after revealing a $100-million loss. Sony last fall slashed prices on its Google TVs by as much as 40 percent and the price of its Blu-ray player dropped from $399 to $299. But Sony has not given up and will return to CES with a new line of Google TVs.
Consumers like smart TVs, but they don't like Google's "smarter" TV. Why? Consumers embraced smart TVs with their bundle of apps. All they had to do was connect their new smart TV to the Internet to get entertainment such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora. But Google TV promised more content. And more importantly, free content.
Along with Google apps, Google TV offered access to the entire Internet, including sources of free TV like Hulu.com, NBC.com and Fox.com, by adding its Chrome browser to the mix. Google TV users could watch the same shows on their big screens as they watched on their computer screens. However, the media companies blocked their sites from Google TV, leaving the new platform with little more than Netflix and Nascar for entertainment — a bitter pill to swallow after paying a 50-percent premium on a 46-inch TV.
LG has positioned its Google TV at the top of its product line, meaning Google TV will only be available on 3D TVs at LG. LG will announce display sizes and pricing for the new Google sets at its Jan. 9 press conference at CES.
However, LG is covering its bets. The company will continue to offer its own smart TV platform via NetCast, which will be available on more than 60 percent of LG flat panel TVs scheduled for introduction over the coming year.