June 26, 2012
Google TV Heads To The UK
Derek Walter for redOrbit.com
After mixed results in the United States, Google TV is crossing the pond to take on the UK television market.While Google TV runs on the popular Android mobile operating system, it has faced a number of challenges in gaining wider adoption in the United States. For example, most networks block Google TV devices from accessing their programming. The Logitech Revue, one of the first flagship devices, lost money and had more units returned than kept by consumers. Logitech pulled out and no longer makes the device.
The press surrounding the Sony NSZ-GS7, the model launching in the UK, has not been great. CNET gave it an “ok” rating in its recent review. The review cited software that “continues to disappoint” and has limited access to online video services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, or MLB.TV among its criticisms. The Sony device also has a double-sided remote; one side has a touchpad for navigation and the other a full QWERTY keyboard. Most reviews found the remote cumbersome to navigate.
Google is hoping that tweaks to the software, along with some specific applications for the UK such as the BBC iPlayer, will interest British television fans. It also has retooled the YouTube app, focusing on making it a platform for watching new content instead of the typical viral videos.
The vision behind Google TV is to transform TV watching with the power of the Internet. Think of a program or topic, search with Google, and then watch it. Unfortunately that has not been the experience in the United States. Changing this will be the key to finding success in the overseas markets.
The push into the UK is the start of Google´s move to get an international audience. Later this year, Google TV is planned for launch in Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands.