In Las Vegas next month, Google was about to have a grand launch for their new Google TV software at the consumer electronics show which it has delayed for future. The reason, sources say, is that Google wants to refine the software since it has received only a lukewarm response from initial market experience.
The Google TV software will make the TV internet compatible and enable other computer based features on it.
Big players in the electrical space, read, Sony, Toshiba, LG Electronics, Sharp were confounded as they had to postpone their production of the system at an advanced stage. This hasn’t been a surprise for industry watchers as they know that Google has a tendency to make modifications in its product after initial launch. For example, computer manufacturers who were waiting for Google to bring its Chrome OS software to be put in their new systems had to let this holiday season go because the software wasn’t ready. Apple iPad got rich because although Google’s Android may have worked well for mobile phones it still didn’t get a clean version for tablet PCs.
Experts say that such behavior in the market may not get favorable reviews for Google from business partners. Actually, the Web TV domain has been a technical drawback for many companies before Google, and they are facing the same.
The manufacturers involved may not accept it but the writing on the wall is clear that this product might get delayed by a year. Since they surprised their partners once more, an analyst at Forrester, James L. McQuivey was heard saying, “Google as a company is not a particularly partner-friendly or partner-focused company”.
Gina Weakley from Google said, “Our long-term goal is to collaborate with a broad community of consumer electronics manufacturers to help drive the next-generation TV-watching experience, and we look forward to working with other partners to bring more devices to market in the coming years”, while refraining from commenting on any unannounced products.
Sony and Logitech already have appliances that let users into Google TV without changing their TV sets. 24 inch HD flat screen and 46 inch HD flat screen Google TVs from Sony were first shipped in October and were charged at $600 and $1400 respectively. These TVs closely resemble computers as they use Intel Atom chips and can run common softwares.
Samsung also will launch its device similar to Sony and Logitech at the Las Vegas Show. Besides, Vizio will get its own answer for Google TV which will be showcased away from common eyes.
Anytime movie and show watching- the biggest attraction for internet TV users will be missing from Google TV as they will showcase on demand movies from Netflix and Amazon and regular TV viewing. Not only this but the major TV networks like NBC, ABC, CBS and Hulu are not available in full length on Google TV.
Google TV offers rather useless features on its product like watching YouTube videos and showing friends’ vacation photos on a bigger screen, or monitoring ESPN.com while watching the game and writing Twitter posts about “Mad Men” on the same screen displaying the show. But it still offers to its best competency – searching – on TV; people can now just search about a show’s timing on TV and on Net and about the actors in the show.
Innovative customers have said that Google TV isn’t any greater than the less expensive set top boxes that they already use and 38% have rated it 3 stars and 19% have rated just 1 star on Amazon.com. J DiBella, Palm Coast Fla said, “The concept of Google TV is very neat and I’m excited to see where it goes, but the only place my Logitech Revue is going is back to Best Buy”.
The Goggle TV software and its remote is complex to use, apart from other small problems. Still, TV makers were readily accepting it to be ahead of Sony. They have been asked by Google to hold production until the software is refined.
Jeff Barney, the vice president of Toshiba’s digital products division said, “We will not be announcing a Toshiba TV or Blu-ray player or demonstrating the products at C.E.S. We have an understanding with Google about the future product road map and will bring the right product out at the right time frame.”
Although Google has announced through its blog that it has better apps for remotes on smart phones running on Android and its TV for movie and show viewing, the good stuff is yet to come. Mr. McQuivey said that Google needs to show more sophistication. He also said, “Google needs to learn some of those abilities — both in terms of partnerships with broadcasters and working with hardware partners. You can give me the recipe for the absolute best chocolate chip cookies in the world, but until I put the ingredients together and bake them at exactly the right temperature for the right time, they’re not cookies, and that’s where Google TV is.”