updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Google TV partners at CES 2012 already revealed
Google has removed the mystery from who its Google TV partners will be at CES with a full listing ahead of the show. Some using chips from Marvell and MediaTek, TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio will all run the Android-based TV OS. Vizio's sets will be behind closed doors, but the rest should be public.
Few hardware details were given out, although LG will be using a self-developed L9 chipset. Sony's launch will make Google TV available in "several countries" and will finally have Google TV leave the US. Canada, the UK, and parts of Europe and Japan are the most probable candidates.
The launch isn't universal and will leave out companies like Panasonic, but it helps explain Google chairman Eric Schmidt's beliefs that most TVs would use Google TV by mid-year. Although doubtful that most TVs will use the platform given that the OS may skew towards higher-end sets, it could make Google TV difficult to avoid for those buying within a certain price range.
Google TV in its first year has been broadly considered a failure. The decision to use Intel chips raised prices, and the lack of third-party apps often meant an Apple TV not only had more features but was more useful in practice. Google TV's full, Flash-capable browser was supposed to be its advantage, but it became a liability as most major providers blocked it and left the available video mostly to YouTube and independents.