Google TV delays some TVs at CES launch


The service, which is built in to devices from Sony and Logitech (the “Revue”) is set to open new opportunities for Google. However, Google TV’s big debut at The Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas has been neutered a bit. The first Sony Google TVs were shipped in October, including 24-inch and 46-inch flat screen TVs.

But Google TV, which adds web video and a smart search programming interface, will not be shown bundled in TV sets at CES by Toshiba (including its Blu-Ray device with Google TV built in), LG Electronics and Sharp. Yes, Sony and Logitech still plan on showing off the new system, but Google asked the other TV makers to delay their introductions, according to a NY Times story, so that it can refine the software: “The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard.”

Samsung looks to be the only new manufacturer to show off Google TV at the show, where it will present two plug-in boxes similar to those from Sony and Logitech that let people tap into the Google TV software without replacing their televisions. The Google TV software also uses a remote control that includes a mouse and keyboard.

We’ve heard some reviews that Google TV has glitches and flaws. Almost 40% of shoppers on gave the Logitech Revue box three stars or fewer, and almost 20% gave it the lowest rating of one star. Complaints also included it was slow and did not offer more features or programming than other, less expensive set-top boxes.

On the other hand, Google has scored big with Android software for smartphones. But device makers have also been reportedly forced to push back plans to release tablets based on a refined version of the software, leaving Apple’s iPad alone in taking in the cash over the holidays. Also this year, manufacturers waited for Google’s new ChromeOS software so they could ship new web-based laptops. But delays at Google also led the manufacturers to miss this year’s holiday season.

RBR-TVBR observation: Just about every entertainment/gaming system is now offering some kind of internet access, so there are plenty of providers and competition. What could set Google apart is the technology and offerings. In a related story we mention how major networks are not offering access to Google TV—that’s two strikes against it, for now. Does this mean a weakness in working relationships with manufacturing partners? Not sure, the rush is always out there to get to market first, especially before the holidays. We all saw the antenna problems with Apple’s iPhone 4 a few months ago. A mistake here and there is expected. However, Google does need to make sure its software works before getting it to market with manufacturers. A lot of money can be lost in pulling out of important shows like CES. Once bitten, twice shy?