updated 10:10 pm EST, Fri November 11, 2011
LG may gamble on Google TV in January
LG might take a risk on unveiling a Google TV 2.0 set at the CES expo in January, a pair of contacts said late Friday. They gave no details of the set to Bloomberg, although it's presumed the TV will look much like the ultra-thin bezel LMx600 series sets that LG accidentally if briefly revealed through CES awards. Most TV sets introduced at CES don't ship until several months later.
The Korean electronics giant hasn't been officially identified by Google as a supporter. When Google unveiled the Android 3.1-based Google TV update, it only named Samsung and Vizio as eventual partners.
An LG entry would come at an unfortunate time for Google TV. Logitech just pulled out all support, saying it had been burned by Google's rough early release and couldn't afford to go back in again. It lost $100 million in total supporting the media platform and doesn't believe that even the 2.0 refresh, with Android Market support and a new interface, would be enough to make an impact.
Vizio has hoped to ship its first Google TV sets in December, but Samsung has been unusually silent and might not commit until CES. If so, the highest-profile Google TV hardware might not be ready until spring or summer, roughly a year and a half after it first launched through Logitech and Sony.
Independent of the manufacturer, Google TV is now losing one of its few software advantages now that Adobe is dropping mobile Flash, which the TV-sized Android OS runs. Google had built the platform on the assumption that it could use Flash video to get mainstream video both online and on traditional TV, but between the exit of Flash and TV studio blocks will now have only a small number of third-party apps as advantages over the Apple TV, which has many of Google's non-web features and advantages of its own, such as more live sports apps and Vimeo.