Google plans to phase out Google TV brand: report

Google plans to phase out Google TV brand: report

Summary: According to reports, Google will phase out Google TV, but will continue to make Android-based smart TV tech available.

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TOPICS: Google
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Google is saying adios to the Google TV brand, but manufacturers will still be able to use the Android operating system within their smart television sets

Three years after launching Google TV, the service is going to be quietly phased out, according to GigaOm. Now that most smart television sets already have many of the services and features offered by Google TV -- which failed to excite the average consumer -- it makes sense that Google's technology will still be used in TV sets, but rebranded as "Android TV."

While the publication's source is an unnamed executive at an anonymous consumer electronics manufacturer, the news isn't much of a surprise. Google TV failed to gain a significant place in the home of most viewers in the West, and so linking the television service to the recognizable Android name would likely make the brand more memorable to the average consumer, thanks to the operation system's popularity in mobile devices.

google android kitkat

A Google spokesperson declined to comment, however, in products that utilize the tech giant's smart TV platform, Google TV is barely mentioned. For example, Sony's Bravia TV uses the most recent version of Google TV, but the announcement of the new product last month did not mention this -- instead, TV marketing manager for Sony Electronics Jamie Marsh said the TV stick "brings the full power of Google services to your TV."

The tech giant said earlier this year that Google TV would be updated with the latest version of Android, which is important for developers still stuck on Android 3.2 -- while Google tablets are running on 4.3. Without access to new operating systems, app developers for smart television sets can't stay current -- and this impacts both the developer themselves and Google.

Android's last version, code-named KitKat -- which makes sense due to the company's partnership with Nestle -- is likely to be released by the end of this month. Google's Android chief Sundar Pichai earlier this month announced the forthcoming release of Android 4.4 by tweeting a picture of a giant Android figure resembling the chocolate snack. Rather than going with Key Lime Pie, the last Android setup follows Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb.

Topic: Google

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17 comments
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  • I'm confused

    So, they're phasing out the name? Your article pretty much says it will be rebranded as Android TV and still be available for use.
    slickjim
    • Phase Out

      They're probably not going to have any branded devices with Google TV either. They're losing the battle to TiVo Roku and every Bluetooth player these days running a SmartOS. It's good move for them to refocus as there is virtually no profitability from Google TV devices.

      Android would mean the OS is free to anyone who wants to leverage it.
      genurich
      • they're not losing anything.

        Google TV was never about that. Yes it has streaming but, it is more entertainment management with Apps on the side.

        I'm thinking what's really happening is Android TV is bigger branding than Google TV for this purpose.
        slickjim
        • Their mistake was communication

          Or lack of it. I have a friend with a GoogleTV and until you've used one you really don't "get" what it does for you. They just never could communicate that to consumers.
          tonymaro
  • Google plans to phase out Google TV brand: report

    Well that was a short lived experiment. We knew that Google TV wouldn't last long and many of us here on ZDNet said so. Google is constantly creating projects then just letting them go.
    Loverock-Davidson
  • this is because of legal goons

    from apple and M$ who feared the mighty FOSS.
    LlNUX Geek
  • Yawn, another day another gooble phase out...

    what else is new?
    thekman58
    • LOL, gooble, meant google

      nt
      thekman58
  • They need more than a name change.

    .
    Userama
  • They should've called it "Chrome TV"

    Since they're marketing Chromecast for $35, a Google TV unit is essentially identical to a Chromecast unit.
    Michael Bradley
  • The new android version

    When you were talking about the previous versions of android you mentioned Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb, but then you stopped. I always was taught to not leave something half done. So to finish "Ice cream sandwich, then Jellybean, and now kit-Kat"
    badmikiev
    • yummy

      sounds like they would have a diabetes problem over there.
      Sasori7
  • kit-kat to be followed by

    I heard kit-Kat was to be followed by monkey-chowder.
    Sasori7
  • Phase-out is google-translated to

    fail.
    Yaarov Skimaan
  • Nexus Google TV

    What they need to do is make a nexus branded google tv box with the keyboard from the logitech revue. Have it run stock android with a passthough hdmi like the old google tvs and have it updated at the same time as regular android.
    blackhand1001
  • Google TV's demise

    I only jumped on the Google TV train about a year ago when i bought the Sony Internet Player with Google TV. The one thing i love about it is it integrates with my DirecTV DVR to give me suggestions on tv shows and movies that I might be interested in. I have the premium DirecTV package with all the movie channels so the suggestions are usually spot on. The device itself fixed a glitch with Vizio TV's when connecting with the DirecTV box. I was disappointed when HBO Go was dropped because I do have a ROKU 3 also but DirecTV doesn't allow HBO Go (DirecTV CEO is a class A jerk). The apps are a bit limited so maybe when it goes Android TV that will be remedied. I would be sad however if the support for the Google TV devices is stopped.
    irishjdf