August 28, 2011

European Google TV Launch Set For Early 2012


Google TV service will launch in the UK and throughout Europe early next year, Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of the Menlo Park, California-based company announced Friday.

The service, which allows people to view a mix of online and television content on their TV screens through a special browser, originally launched in the United States last October.

Google will bring the project to European markets, despite what Reuters reporter Georgina Prodhan calls "teething problems that had led some observers to question how committed the company would remain" to the service, including "mixed reviews" in America, as well as the service being "swiftly blocked by three of the top U.S. broadcast networks."

Schmidt made the announcement during a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

"Some in the US feared we aimed to compete with broadcasters or content creators. Actually our intent is the opposite," he told those in attendance, according to Prodhan. "We seek to support the content industry by providing an open platform for the next generation of TV to evolve, the same way Android is an open platform for the next generation of mobile."

He noted that the UK would be "among the top priorities" when the service launched in Europe in early 2012 (within the next six months, according to John-Paul Ford Rojas of the Telegraph). The price of the unit was not revealed, but in the US, set-top boxes launched at $299 and were reduced in price by $200 in July, according to Reuters.

Rojas reports that Google TV "will also mean that viewers can watch material from catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player on their main TV screen."

Furthermore, both the Telegraph and Paul Revoir of the Daily Mail note that the service allows users to switch between TV broadcasts and the Web without needing to adjust any cables, and that smartphones can be used in the place of a remote control to change channels. Google TV even features a special HD version of YouTube, the British media outlets reported this weekend.


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