In what is precisely the fillip it needs from a major player in the CE industry, Google TV will be rolled out on LG connected TV sets from 21 May.
Despite the fact that many industry commentators have predicted great things for Google TV, it has so far struggled to reach any sort of critical mass in the online TV and video sector. Google has been bruised by the lack of cost-effective suppliers of set-top boxes (STBs) for the TV service, and in November 2011 key supplier Logitech announced that it was killing off its Google TV-based set-top box, with chairman Guerrino De Luca describing the product as a "big mistake" that cost his company more than $100 million in operating profit.
In March 2012, The New York Post reported that Google was looking to abandon the STB business it will inherit from Motorola Mobility before it finally closes on the $12.5 billion acquisition.
Google’s relationship with LG to bolster the TV line began in January this year when at CES 2012 it signed up LG Electronics as a key and much needed technology partner, unveiling the LG Smart TV with Google TV, combining an Android OS with LG's 3D and Smart TV technologies. LG said that the most attractive feature of Google TV is its ease of use, based on a combination of its Android-based user interface and the Magic Remote Qwerty designed by LG. Havis Kwon, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company, commented at the time: “Through Google TV, LG has merged Google's established Android operating system with LG's proven 3D and Smart TV technologies, offering consumers a new and enthralling TV experience."
Rolling forward to the current time, the Reuters news agency is reporting that LG plans to launch a connected TV based on the Google platform in the United States in the week beginning 21 May. "Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 from our factory in Mexico, and US consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of 21 May," Ro Seogho, executive vice president of LG's TV business unit, told Reuters adding that LG will assess the platform’s success in the US before expanding the offering to Europe and Asia.