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Google tries to delay debut of TVs

Google TV
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The Consumer Electronics Show looming and Google wants more time. The search giant has asked several TV manufacturers to hold back on showing new TV sets with Google TV built into them, reports the Wall Street Journal.  The company plans to use the extra time to improve the Google TV software, which has been plagued by poor reviews since its debut in October. Samsung, LG, Sharp, and Toshiba are among the television makers Google contacted last week. Both are set to debut new TV models in January.

“We will not be announcing a Toshiba TV or Blu-ray player or demonstrating the products at CES,” Jeff Barney, the vice president of Toshiba’s digital products division told the NY Times. “We have an understanding with Google about the future product roadmap and will bring the right product out at the right timeframe.”

Other manufacturers aren’t as compliant. Samsung said it will still debut its new TVs at CES, despite the plea from Google.

Sony is optimistic

Despite the low enthusiasm for Google TV and reports of low sales, Sony remains optimistic about its partnership with Google. Since October, the company has been selling a line of TVs running Google’s Android-based OS.

“Some reviews have been good, some have been bad,” said Hiroshi Yoshioka, head of Sony’s TV business. “It might take a little longer for users to really start having fun” with Google TVs, he said. He went on to claim that sales of Google TVs were “in line with expectations.”

Google has not released details on what enhancements it intends to make to the software or how much of a delay it expects TV makers to incur. Last week, Google rolled out its first update to the service, improving the Netflix app, Adding dual-view, and allowing Android phones to be used as TV remote controls. The service suffered a major setback when all major broadcast television networks and Hulu blocked the device from accessing their content that is free for streaming on web.

Our own Nick Mokey reviewed the Logitech Revue, one of the first Google TV devices on the market, in November. “While the Logitech Revue comes closer than any previous set-top box to taking over all the functions of a dedicated PC, sloppy execution prevents the Revue from truly fulfilling the same role,” wrote Mokey.

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