Google TV is still waiting in the wings trying to find its market. Google will hang in there waiting for consumers and content owners to catch up with its ambitions, but other companies are bailing out now. And I can’t say I really blame them.
Google TV was unveiled in the middle of last year after a little teasing from Google. The two main partners were Sony and Logitech, the former integrating the software into television sets and Blu-ray players, the latter releasing a set-top box named Revue.
Unfortunately Google TV didn’t take off for many reasons: The unfinished nature of the software, the price of the hardware, and, worst of all, the fact that all of the big television networks and other premium content owners blocked Google TV access to their programming.
The writing was on the wall from that moment forth.
Logitech At Loggerheads
One man not happy to see Google TV have failed so spectacularly at this point is Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca. He recently stated that the failure had cost his company big – at least $100 million in operating profits – after it rolled out the Revue set-top box on a massive scale.
To make the long story short, we thought we had invented (sliced) bread and we just made them. [We made a commitment to] just build a lot because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes at $300 … that was a big mistake.
The fact is supporting Google TV to the degree it did was a gamble for Logitech. The company had good reasons to believe it was a gamble which stood a good chance of paying off – this is Google we’re talking about here, after all – but that didn’t turn out to be the case for the reasons cited above.
However, De Luca did admit, “Google TV or a child of Google TV or the grandchild of Google TV will happen,” and “the integration of television and Internet is inevitable.” Which it is. Just not quite yet.
Google TV wasn’t a home run as the search and advertising giant hoped. And the failure of its first iteration has clearly left a nasty taste in the mouth of some, both companies and consumers. But even Logitech knows that it will eventually take off. It’s a matter of when rather than if.
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