Google asks TV makers to slow down Google TV

Google has asked TV manufacturers to delay the introduction of internet-capable Google TV sets, marking another setback in the much-hyped, yet much-flopped, launch of Google TV.

Sources close to Google revealed that the company wants to “refine” the software behind Google TV, according to the New York Times. The software has already launched, to poor reception, on Sony and Logitech devices. 

Toshiba, LG and Sharp were planning to unveil their branded versions of Google TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, but the planned mega-launch looks set to be missing Google’s well-known logo as it goes back to the drawing board.

January is a big time for shoppers, with big sales driving strong demand. Anything not sold in the pre-Christmas rush is sure to fly off the shelves in January, so missing out on both key months could jeopardise the overall success of Google TV.

The anonymous sources suggested that the TV makers were taken by surprise by this announcement from Google, which is likely to strain relations between the companies, particularly considering January stock is most likely already being produced or shipped.

Some of Google’s partners have yet to comment on the problem, but Toshiba has indicated that it will delay its product launches until Google introduces the new version of Google TV, which is set to bring an app store, a myriad of bug fixes and a number of other features.

This is not the first problem Google TV has encountered. Major stumbling blocks appeared when many of the US‘ leading television networks banned the broadcasting of their shows on Google TV devices, effectively destroying part of its intended purpose. 

Much of that dispute focused on the fact that Google had not negotiated anything with these networks and that copyright infringement could become a major issue. So even when Google TV devices launch there may not be a whole lot of content to access on them.