Google TV - Connected TV Deals on the Ropes?

written by: Richard Kastelein

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The Wall St. Journal reports today that Google may be putting the reins on it's Google TV rollout on Connected TVs.

One of the people briefed on Google's plans said the company sent out word to some hardware makers last week asking them not to announce additional products yet. The delay may allow the company to improve its software, this person said, while possibly trying to address other problems the Google TV effort faces.

But one person familiar with Toshiba's thinking disputed the notion that it was acting on Google's instructions. The decision to put off announcements of Google TV products at the electronics show was a mutual one, this person said.

The story, originally published in the New York Times, noted:

Although Google already has a deal with Sony for its Internet TVs, other television makers — Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp — were prepared to flaunt their versions of the systems.

But Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard. And it illustrates the struggles Google faces as it tries to expand into the tricky, unfamiliar realm of consumer electronics, and drum up broad interest in a Web-based TV product that consumers want.

...Samsung now appears set to be the only new entrant to the Google TV market at the show, where it will present two appliances similar to those from Sony and Logitech, according to people familiar with the company’s plan. Vizio will also demonstrate its take on a Google TV, but will do so in private demonstrations off the show floor.

Last week, Google posted a blog post last week announcing software updates to its TV platform. But it appears it's too little, too late for the 2010 holiday season and the January CES show in Vegas.

 

Netflix
We've partnered up with our friends at Netflix to upgrade the app so that you can search, browse and watch any movie or show that is in the Netflix streaming catalog. You can even add these titles to your DVD queue if you want them mailed to you. Not sure what to watch? The new Netflix app will also give you personalized recommendations based on what you've watched before. Your TV is now an unlimited source of entertainment.

Dual View
Google TV brings the TV and web together in one seamless experience so you can easily watch your favorite TV show and browse your favorite website together at once. With the feature, you can do things like watch Conan while tweeting about him on Twitter at the same time. Since launch, we've had users give us feedback that they want even more customization options for this feature, and so today we have enhanced it to allow you to re-size and move the window however you'd like.

Remote Control App for Android Phones
What if you could control your TV with the power of your voice? Starting today you can download the Google TV Remote app in Android Market. Apart from the standard TV remote options like changing channels or accessing your DVR, you can now interact with your TV in ways you never have before. For instance, try using the integrated voice search which allows you to find your favorite shows and movies just by speaking into your phone. Or, go from small screen to big screen by sharing videos and websites directly from your phone to your TV. We've included a short preview of these features below. Stay tuned for more information about the Google TV Remote for other platforms in the near future.

Movies
Say you're searching for a movie like 'Harry Potter'. Google TV now has a movie results page that shows you all films associated with the title so you can quickly watch what you want, wherever it's available -- ranging from sources like live TV, Netflix, and Amazon Video on Demand. You can also read a quick summary, see photos, and find the cast list. Click on the name of a cast member and we'll take you to a new search landing page where you can find other movies featuring that actor. Trust us, you'll never leave the couch again.

Google TV users will start to see these updates roll out to their devices throughout the week. The Google TV Remote app is available today (click here from your Android device or scan the barcode below) but all features may not work until your device has received the update.

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