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.
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.