In an ongoing, and amusing, pay-off to Google’s strategy of, eh, screw it, let them have our operating system for free, currently at the Consumer Electronics Show, everybody and their mom is debuting some sort of Google TV device. Well, OK, not their mom. But there is a whole hell of a lot of Google TV all over CES.
Not bad for a total failure of a platform!
For those wondering, because nobody uses it right now, Google TV was supposed to be Google revolutionizing television. It didn’t for a variety of reasons: The program itself was a mess, the features didn’t work quite the way they were supposed to, and the device support was, at first, lukewarm.
Google TV has improved. Search now actually works, a nice change of pace from its debut. And to be honest, Google’s pretty much the only kid on the playground right now. Apple still jealously guards its walled garden, and Microsoft is content to cozy up to cable networks.
Which means if you’re making a set-top box or smart TV, 2012 is the year of the Goog. To wit:
- LG has seven new sets with Google TV baked into the operating system.
- Netgear, yes, the router company, has rolled out an update to its NeoTV with Google TV support.
- New company Hisense has Google all over their high-end sets.
- TCL has a Google TV in the works.
- And Asus has a set-top box called the Qube that, among other things, incorporates Google TV, voice controls, and motion controls.
It’ll be interesting to see what these sets have to offer, especially since Google TV is basically Android, which means you can install apps. We give it maybe a year before a newly invented “ad-yanker” app freaks everybody in TV out.