LG to launch Google TV sets in U.S. later this month

LG to launch Google TV sets in U.S. later this month

Summary: Production of the new TVs is set to begin at LG's Mexico plant on May 17, and the first products will be available for purchase as early as May 21.

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Television giant LG Electronics plans to launch Internet-enabled TVs in the U.S. later this month based around the Google TV platform, according to a senior company executive.

The move comes as the South Korean firm, the second largest manufacturer of televisions in the world, looks to gain a foothold in the emerging Internet TV market.

Speaking to Reuters, Ro Seogho, executive vice president of LG's television business, said that production of the new devices will begin at its Mexico plant next week, and the first products will be available for purchase as early as the week beginning May 21.

According to Ro, the decision on whether to expand availability of these devices to European and Asian markets will depend on how well they are received in the United States.

No information was released relating to screen sizes or pricing.

Google TV is a smart TV platform co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech. It is based on Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" and features a modified version of the Google Chrome browser which integrates web services with existing TV and online content. Google TV is tightly integrated with other Google services, such as YouTube and Google search, and offers access to the Google Play app marketplace.

It is likely that this move by LG is in response to continued speculation by analysts and pundits that Apple is planning to launch a TV either later this year or next year. Apple's offering could combine television viewing, a gaming center, media hub, computer, and even home automation functionality into a single unit.

Success with Google TV devices is far from guaranteed. Co-developer Logitech announced in November that it would no longer make Google TV devices after losing over $100 million with its own Revue Google TV set-top box.

The TV market is also experiencing a contraction, with Sony's television business losing money over the past eight years. The company has lost around $10 billion over the past ten years as it builds roughly 20 million sets a year.

Other manufacturers of Google TV sets include Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

Image source: Google.

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Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware

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5 comments
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  • might be rough at first, but it looks like the future, in an odd way

    It all seems fine, but on one hand the user may have privacy concerns and on the other hand some online content providers have blocked GTV devices from acess to content on their sites and may continue to do so. So, we need two things for it to be really great:

    1.) something to break the Googly infoharvesting/tracking and advertisemets we all know and love. I can only imagine that any sort of appliance from Google will be an ever-present fly on the wall.. Does it have a webcam I wonder? It should.

    2.) something to make it lie to providers and websites about what sort of device is connecting to their content. that is.. "I am merely an old PC. I am NOT a Google TV, nor anything to be concerned about. Now show me the video".

    So it has potential and depite my small concerns, I think it will be popular if users don't run onto blocked content. That would be dissatisfying
    opcom
  • Google TV

    I will NEVER buy a Google TV are any other tv that allows vermin like Google, Facebook or Microsoft know what I watch or when. They have no right to invade my privacy for any reason, especially if they plan to target me with ads. And don't even start with the brainwashing BS that it is all to give me a better internet experience. It is to give them a bigger bank account at our expense. I don't use the Chrome browser, I don't use Google to search with, and I rarely visit any Google control websites. I have Google cookies blocked in the browsers I do use and if I can't get on to a site because of that, too bad.
    rwk006@...
  • Ask Logitech how Google TV worked for them

    Or the OEMs of the few Google TVs in the market today.
    wackoae
  • I prefer Google TV

    From the first Sony google TV to LG google TV, it's enough to prove google TV's benefit customers. Simply think about how awesome a google phone nexus is, a google TV with LG advanced 3D tech, it's hard to ignore.
    hungergame
  • LG as per me.

    I am wondering what sort of interface this TV would has. Nonetheless, LG keeps doing their best from past years and would be doing great in future too. Hands on for their 2012 smart passive LM 3d TVs!
    JustinKp