We all know that Google TV didn’t do too well when it was launched last year- networks were blocking it from accessing their content, and OEMs taking their sweet time to embrace the platform. But this year, it has been reported that Google will be making some significant changes in order to step up their game plan. Google will be making the transition from Intel’s CE4100 (used in the Logitech Revue) to an ARM-processor. What difference would this make, you ask?
Well, ARM processors are known to be significantly cheaper than Intel processors, and this decrease in price would make it as competitive as Apple’s smart TV offering, the Apple TV (which retails for $99). Since the only way you can get Google TV is through a limited number of TVs that have it integrated, a Sony Blu-ray player, and the Logitech Revue set top boxes that cost $299. A cheaper Google TV would result in a higher penetration across the nation, and if Google has the numbers to back them up, networks might be more willing to let their content be shown on their platform. Let’s see how Google performs with their new ARM sets.
Publisher’s note: I know that the view presented by George is popular on the web (and I respect it) but I found the comparison between the Apple TV and the Google TV (in particular the Logitech Revue) to be misplaced. First of all, the two boxes clearly don’t have the same goal. Apple TV is basically a box that’s an “end point” for Apple paid content. There’s Netflix and YouTube, but that’s about it. Google TV and the Logitech revue in particular offer a web experience and to the extent that it is not blocked: free web content. The Revue has a keyboard, can be extended with a webcam etc… Apple TV does not.
Although an ARM platform might make Google TV cheaper (by how much is unknown), it will also need serious muscles to use Flash content (fortunately, that’s possible). For me, the high point with ARM is that Android is fundamentally optimized for ARM, and I found the Intel version lacking in performance in my Google TV review. (Hubert Nguyen)