Google TV Death Knell Sounded Amid Black Friday Sales

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 up 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 companion boxes.

TechCrunch noted 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 discount.

However, the discounted TVs and Blu-ray players, available at, 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 content, shunned 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.