As we tipped last week Google has confirmed that they are set to take a second stab at trying to get into the TV market with a new version of Google TV.It is not known whether the new Google platform will be launched in Australia at the same time as Europe after Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed on Friday that the Google TV will be launched in the UK in early 2012.
The new service which is expected in Australia after Google approached local TV stations for content provides subscription and free on-demand content through set-top boxes and branded TV sets.
Recently Google aquired Motorola Mobility who are a major manufacturer of set top boxes with speculation mounting that Google may team up with them to launch a Motorola branded set top box with Google TV capabilities.
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt officially announced the new look Google TV, as we tipped during a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
Mr Schmidt said that Logitech and Sony were both still “on board” for Google TV, with “many more [partners] coming”. “Wait shortly for an announcement,” he said.
He predicted that Google TV would move from a standalone set-top box to being incorporated within all brands of television sets within five years.
“Virtually all the television manufacturers on their very high end will eventually adopt Google TV … or perhaps one of the competitors that will emerge,” he said. “We know this space exists. The issue is getting that started, getting the applications built and so forth, and that’s taken quite a while.”
Industry analysts have been critical of Google TV thus far.
Reuters said that the new platform, which Google says is “priority”, is sure to feature free on-demand portals like the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player, with a host of other services likely to be confirmed before the service launches.
Schmidt says that he hopes the platform, which also bring a full web browsing experience to your TV set, will enable traditional broadcasters to experiment with the newer on-demand medium.
“Some in the US feared we aimed to compete with broadcasters or content creators. Actually our intent is the opposite,” he said during his MacTaggart keynote speech.
“We seek to support the content industry by providing an open platform for the next generation of TV to evolve, the same way Android is an open platform for the next generation of mobile.
“We’re agnostic when it comes to whether free or paid content models are best,” he added. “It’s up to content owners to decide if they want to charge, and it’s up to users to decide if they want to pay.”
The service has widely been regarded as a flop since the promising US launch (check out our Google TV review), mainly due to a lack of content and a heavily-criticised user interface.
Logitech, the exclusive provider of the Revue set top box, recently slashed the price to just $99 (from $299) in order to get more viewers on board.
Sales of the licensed Sony Internet TVs, with Google TV built-in, have also been poor. Google will be hoping its European expansion will be more successful.