CYBERSPACE: The tubes are alight with reports that Google is going to launch its TV gear in October. Engadget’s Ben Bowers yesterday obtained an internal document from Best Buy indicating the launch date for Google TV was originally Oct. 3, but had been pushed back two weeks to Oct. 17.
“We’ve already seen the Logitech Revue box hardware pass the FCC, but a tipster has just shared an internal Best Buy document with us disclosing that the original planned launched date was Oct. 3, and it’s now been mysteriously pushed back by two weeks,” Bowers wrote.
He said the leaked memo wasn’t definite proof of a launch, but it had some credibility given that give Best Buy is Google’s partner on the project, and the suggested release date’s proximity to the holiday season.
Google first confirmed its plan to launch Google TV last May. The project brought together Sony, Intel, Best Buy, Dish Network and Logitech. The service integrates Google’s Android operating system and Chrome Internet browser into TV sets and peripherals, enabling the search of both Web material and TV content.
Sony will market Google TV in its Sony Internet TV package comprising a Sony Bravia HDTV set, a Sony Blu-ray DVD player with Internet access. (Sony’s IP-based Blu-ray player, the BDP-N460, includes the Bravia Internet Video Platform.) Intel is providing the chips set for the Revue, a standalone Google TV set-top box, built by Logitech. Best Buy is the retailer, and Dish Network, having beta tested the service, will integrate Google TV software into its HD DVR receivers.
Several other techie blogs picked up on Bowers' leaked memo, noting the leaked release date comes shortly after Apple’s launch of its $99 Web-to-TV peripheral streaming box. Apple TV will support TV show downloads from iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and other applications. The Apple TV box is set to hit store shelves later this month.
No prices have yet been released or leaked for the Google TV gear. Google and Apple both come late to the market with Web-to-TV streaming software and peripherals. Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Vizio are all making ’Net-connected TV sets, though content access is typically limited to specific platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. Stand-alone set-top makers include Roku and Boxee.
However late Google and Apple are to the game, it’s shaping up to be an explosive one. In-Stat analysts said last month that Web-to-TV video is growing faster than forecasters first expected. Market research now suggests that by 2014, there will be 57 million U.S. broadband households watching full-length, online video on TVs. Related revenues are projected to grow from $2 billion to $17 billion in a five-year period.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
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