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CES 2012 Review: Google TV Arrives (Again) But Omens Still Poor

by User Not Found | Jan 24, 2012

The International CES 2012 closed its doors a week ago and our analyst team has filed its reports. Highlights included smart TV apps, the post-HDTV future, two-screen TV and ultrabooks.


Within the smart TV domain Google had been expected to set the show alight with its latest Google TV implementations. But none of us was over-impressed. Marvell took up some of the space left by Intel’s digital home withdrawal by demonstrating its Armada platform supporting GoogleTV 2.0, but the platform did not appear to offer anything unique relative to other smart TV solutions.


LG was also demonstrating Google TV on the show floor, but was clearly less than wholly committed to the platform. I was talking to LG’s Peter Hollenhurst at the Google TV stand when we were politely interrupted by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on his whistlestop tour through the CES pandomonium. (I seem to have developed a habit of being interrupted by FCC Chairmen when I am viewing smart TV innovations at CES.)


Fortunately I had already managed to hear enough from Peter to suggest that LG is still working out exactly what Google TV means and where it sits in LG’s smart TV strategy. Behind him was a large display with the words “LG Smart TV with Google TV”, which obviously raises some interesting positioning questions. So “Google TV” is an option within the “LG Smart TV” package, perhaps? In Peter’s words, however, “Smart TV is one thing, Google TV is another”. “Our display is confusing,” he noted, and who was I to disagree?


Much of the rest of LG’s stand was taken up by demonstrations of its own Smart TV platform, or NetCast. And since LG has stated publicly that it expects its own solution to account for 90% of its smart TV business during 2012, we can assume that the Google TV version is unlikely to feature strongly in its product lineup or on retailer shelves during 2012/3.


Our CES reports cover a wide range of exhibitors, including Acer, Akamai, Amimon, ARM, ASUS, AT&T, Broadcom, Buffalo, Cisco, Coincident, Google, Hisense, HP, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Marvell, Motorola, Netgear, Opera, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Rovi, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sony Pictures, Toshiba, Universal, Vizio, Warner Bros. Clients are welcome to follow up with any additional questions about the show.


David Mercer


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