Google TV has never really had much of a chance to start here in Australia, the only official release we’ve actually seen here was the Sony Internet Player with Google TV (NSZ-GS7) and from a report by Giga Om Australia and indeed any other country, may not be getting any further Google TV branded devices either.
The report states that Google has begun phasing out the Google TV brand with members of the Google TV team changing their affiliated position titles to that of Android TV and new events for services normally related to Google TV such as a recent event in Seoul was called ‘Android TV Developer Day’.
It will also follow moves by TV manufacturers who’ve already integrated the platform into their SmartTVs who have stopped using the name, Giga Om used the example of the recently announced Sony TV Dongle which didn’t use any Google TV branding, preferring to use the description ‘brings the full power of Google services to your TV’ when talking about Google services.
The Google TV even when made available in other countries does not seem to have taken off, with estimates of just 1 million devices actually in use ‘in the wild’ based on download figures for Google TV apps.
The platform was recently upstaged by the release of the Chromecast which could possibly take over from where the Google TV left off, with the US$35 dongle already garnering support from content creators and distributors in the US, like Hulu Plus and Netflix. With the Google TV famously blocked off from content by some of these providers, it would do Google the world of good to drop the platform title and concentrate on a hugely popular device, although with developers being hamstrung by the lack of ability to release apps which use the device, enthusiasm for the platform is quickly waning.
All up, Google TV has never really had a chance to shine – at least here in Australia – with limited device choices as well as the pricing of the Sony Internet player at $399 effectively sealed its fate at launch. With cheaper options on the market, it would benefit Google to release both an SDK for the Chromecast as well as the product to a wider audience, but the battle for the living room is definitely one that Google is interested in, but one they could very easily lose.
Have you used Google TV? Did you import one or purchase the Sony Internet Player?