Google ditching ‘Google TV’ branding, but Android will stay in the living room

October 10, 2013
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Google is reportedly set to shutter the Google TV brand and go a different route, according to sources. As GigaOM recently discovered, many hardware partners have already begun moving away from the Google TV branding, instead opting to mention their devices will offer "Google services."


The move is not surprising, if indeed true. The widely panned platform nearly bankrupted Logitech, and offered little bang for the consumer buck. Regularly tipping the scales at $100 and up, the service offered little more than the ability to search YouTube and browse the web on your TV.

Google declines comment to both GigaOM and Android Community, but they may have learned something from the Chromecast. Google almost never releases information on sales figures, but the widely sought after dongle had a few interesting tweaks. Rather than operate with a clumsy remote, it used what we already had in our hand: an Android phone. By simply pinching the functionality of what we were doing on our phones and tablets, Google found an end-around for our living room attention.

The last news from the Google TV team was in July, when they noted Verizon Redbox would be available for the service. Other services, like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, are available on other devices. What isn’t clear is whether or not those services that don’t translate -- like Amazon -- would be available for the newer service.

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Going as far back as Google I/O, there was a session named Android: As Seen on TV!. That session, which was geared toward Google TV (which runs on Android), repeatedly shied away from saying Google TV during the session. Google also decided to remove the Google TV track for I/O 2013, though it had three sessions in 2012.

The hints have been here for some time, and we’ve quietly wondered if Google TV was going the way of the dinosaur. Though Google said they believed there was room for both Google TV and Chromecast, it was clear to see that a two-pronged attack would do them no favors. Perhaps the critics were right, and the Chromecast really did kill Google TV. We’ll just have to wait and see what official news Google has for us.


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  • boonesimpson

    I really hope that google tv doesn’t die.
    I think rebranding isn’t a bad idea, but the chromecast, while a fun gadget,will not usurp a good set top box with a remote you can use without looking.

    My chromecast is basically used to let my toddler watch netflix, while the GTV is used for browser, netflix, amazon, VIMU, google play, and more.

    Google should , especially with the jellybean launch, focus on ADDING gaming to the GTV, and compete with Ouya and the like, since that is a space that is getting some interest.

    Heck, since the TV and Cable co’s blocked GTV in the first week, Google should just tell them to pound sand and add in DVR and dual tuner OTA and capture the “cord cutter/never” market, which is growing by the day, with some slingbox style capabilities as a bonus.

    That would make the GTV box THE MUST OWN tv accessory. Kills Roku, kills tivo, kills all those random tuner boxes, adds way more value that apple tv, cuts off amazon’s offering before its out, kills ouya and the rest of the android consoles and since it would still have HDMI in, it will still augment existing digital cable / satellite.

    It could be done for $200 (bring your own drive) and would be king of the hill.

  • LowIQ_Human

    it’s hard to beat the $35 price?

  • http://www.stryfe.co.uk/ Chris Beach

    Google TV needs some attention tbh, I like it but its needs more developer attention. LoveFilm and NHL should both have streaming but neither support it, and thats the repeated pattern across lots of apps that would perfectly suite Google TV but the dev hasn’t seen the need.

    If Google can turn some internal attention to it, and make sure the existing Sony and Logitect etc boxes can work with the next version then we can hope…

  • JS

    Netflix does not work on my older Sony Google TV (model nsx-40gt1)…..whereas it plays fine on my laptop, which I often have to end up plugging into the TV via hdmi.
    Is the Netflix just not working because the TV is slow and has a weak processor with little RAM?
    I’ve tried numerous fixes with no success?

  • LowIQ_Human

    Just like many things of Google they will still be around, but not with as much support or possibly an update if the hardware can support the new software, but given how well Chromecast has sold over the Google-TV, I can see the writing on the wall at Google!!, Chromecast or possibly a
    Chromecast-II device will follow or replace Google-TV in the next iteration. Popularity has allot to do sometime with how a company moves with a product, and not always with popular results, but regardless it will change the way Google-TV is?, and that no matter what you think of it will be better for the consumer because it brings newer innovation.