More CE manufacturers line up behind Google TV

Despite a very troubled launch for Google TV, with retail sales dragging so slowly that partner Sony has already started slashing prices of Google TV enabled devices by up to 25 percent, Toshiba and Vizio reportedly are planning to roll out their own products based on the Google TV platform at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Bloomberg last week reported the companies may also be joined by Samsung, giving the platform, which has been panned by reviewers as being incomplete, difficult to use and expensive, a bigger piece of the market, and more potential to be adopted.

Google has thus far been unable to line up support for the platform from Hollywood, with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox blocking their content from appearing on Google TV devices. Online video catch-up site Hulu, along with Viacom, which counts MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon among its properties, also have blocked their content from appearing on Google TV devices.

Nevertheless, The Diffusion Group senior analyst Colin Dixon said he believes the platform has great potential.

"It's just not complete yet," said Dixon. "And, it's too expensive. No matter how you buy it, you pay too big a premium, from 10-15 percent on a Blu-ray player and a TV that supports it, and the company can't cleanly articulate the value proposition to most Americans."

Dixon said he believes Google will begin to see the fruits of its labor as more CE manufacturers line up behind the platform. "Vizio, Samsung, LG, maybe others are likely to announce at CES," Dixon said. "Content providers will come if the platform is successful... it's the same model Google has followed with the cell phone. Google won't walk away from Google TV; it completes the picture. They want to be everywhere the Internet is."

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