NEWS ANALYSIS: Some say price cuts on Google TV Sony Blu-ray players and TVs indicate the service is in trouble. Toshiba and Vizio may launch Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Media are lining
on the Web to sound the death knell for Google TV
, the marriage between Web and channel surfing
that spawned some pricey hardware products from Logitech and Sony.
Google TV is the search engine's bid to successfully wed television
programming with Web surfing. Users may watch TV, surf the Internet and access
Web applications from Android 2.1-based companion boxes, Blu-ray players and
that Sony has dropped the price
of its Google TV-enabled Blu-ray player from
$399 to $299.
PC Magazine learned
Sony also pared its Google TV set prices. The 46-inch, Google TV-enabled Sony
TV is now $1,199, down $200. The 40-inch set is available for $898, a $100
However, the discounted TVs and Blu-ray players, available at sonystyle.com,
Sony Style stores and Best Buy, are only on sale until Nov. 29
Logitech Revue, the least expensive way to access Google TV, seems to be
holding steady at its initial $299 price point.
The problem we have with the conclusion that Google TV is dying based on
thee price-cutting reports is that they come during Black Friday weekend, the
busiest holiday shopping weekend of the year.
It's quite normal for consumer electronics, or any product provider for that
matter, to severely slash prices to boost sales.
On the other hand, if the sales prices persist, it may be an allowance that
demand is weak. And people can thank the media for that.
The service only launched in October
, but media quickly set to throwing shovelfuls
of dirt on it despite knowing full well that Google has a history of building,
releasing and iterating on most of its software products.
Early reviews have largely buried
Google TV as being a beta build lacking
as it has been by NBC, CBS, ABC
and Fox Websites, among others.
Google TV owners worried that their product will be abandoned may take
comfort in the fact that Toshiba and Vizio are said to be launching their own
Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas in January.
Samsung Electronics may be mulling Google TV sets as well, Bloomberg reported Nov. 24
Vizio was the leading maker of LCD television sets in the United
States in the third quarter, with Toshiba
coming in sixth place, iSuppli data shows. Naturally, support from these
heavy-hitting TV providers would be welcome.
eWEEK will be there to cover the news and, hopefully, get a finger on the
pulse of how the industry feels about Google TV.