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Samsung set to debut Google TV televisions in 2012

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Electronics giant Samsung, the world’s largest TV manufacturer, confirmed today that it is in final talks to bring Google TV software to its television lineup, reports Reuters. The addition of Google TV is part of Samsung’s initiative to increase its offering of “smart” TVs, which connect to the Internet.

News of the addition of Google TV-enabled televisions comes from Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung’s TV division. He also said that the company plans to unveil the first sets with Google TV at an event next year, but refused to elaborate on the exact event. However, it is likely that Samsung’s Google TV debut will come at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in the first half of January, and is among the most major events in the consumer electronics arena.

LG also has plans to release a Google TV-powered television. But according to Yoon, Samsung’s offering will differ noticeably from its competitors’ televisions.

In October, Google completely revamped the design and user interface of Google TV. Much more simple that the earlier iteration of the software, the new and improved Google TV is far more simply and easy-to-use, and resembles Android 3.0 Honeycomb in look and feel. Google also updated the search functionality, making it easier to find online programming. And Google has also begun to add the option of using Android apps on Google TV, as well.

So far, Google TV has failed to gain much ground. Part of this is due to the fact that all the major networks have blocked Google from playing their streaming content. This is one thing that will have to change before Google TV can become a true force in the TV industry.

In addition to Google TV-powered sets, Yoon says that Samsung also plans to debut its next-generation OLED displays at CES 2012. OLED displays — small versions of which are widely used on the newest generation of smartphones — are thinner, brighter and use less energy than LCD displays.