updated 12:05 pm EDT, Tue September 7, 2010
Samsung mulling possibility of Google TV
Samsung admitted at a forum today that the company was considering developing Google TV hardware. TV group leader Yoon Boo Keun told the media Samsung was "reviewing" the prospect of using the Android-based shell but was anxious about support in South Korea. Media producers would have to get behind Google's platform in Samsung's home country for it to make sense, Keun told Bloomberg and others in attendance.
The move would be most likely a hedge against Sony, which said at the Google I/O conference in May would release Bravia TVs using Google TV by the fall. The platform may be the first truly standardized interface for Internet-connected TVs and will support third-party apps as well as partly integrate with cable and satellite boxes. Most existing TVs use proprietary software that, while accessing common services like Flickr and YouTube, can't share extensions or features at the same time.
It could also be an attempt to head off incursions by dedicated boxes that might undermine Samsung's core business. The new Apple TV and Roku Internet Players cost $99 or less and often give more functionality than what current Internet-equipped TVs can manage while also divorcing the features from the TV. Viewers with an Apple TV or similar would not only have the option of choosing a cheaper TV without Internet access but could expect more frequent updates and could avoid traditional TV entirely.
Google TV as a whole ships before the end of the year and will get its first debut in the Logitech Revue, which will offset some of the concerns about obsolescence by merging Harmony remote and local media sharing features.