Logitech Halts Google TV Revue Shipments: Report

Logitech has called for a freeze on Google TV components from Gigabyte Technology, marking the second instance where Google requested hardware delays so it can refresh the software.

Logitech has told Taiwan's Gigabyte Technology to freeze shipments of the Logitech Revue companion boxes that power Google TV from December through January, according to Digitimes.

The publication said Logitech made the request to allow Google to finish upgrading the Android-based Google TV software, which felt unfinished to many reviewers. Logitech declined to confirm the report for CNet when asked to verify its validity.

If true, it marks the second piece of evidence that Google is asking its Google TV hardware partners to postpone shipping new appliances so the search engine can improve the product.

Google allegedly asked TV set makers such as Toshiba, LG and Sharp to refrain from launching Google TV sets at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show next month so that it can boost the software.

The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg called Google TV a poor product for "geeks" in a video of best and worst products of 2010.

Google TV is the company's ambitious effort to wed Web surfing with channel surfing by putting its Chrome Web browser on TV sets and making all TV broadcast and Web content searchable.

The effort is one of the dozen or so in the last decade, including plays by Microsoft and Intel, to put Web browsing and applications on TVs. All have failed.

Shortly after Google launched Google TV in October via the Revue companion boxes and Internet TVs and Blu-ray players from Sony it became clear to many reviewers that the product felt unfinished.

This was particularly poignant weighed against the cost of the hardware, which many felt was too high. Logitech Revue costs $300, while Sony TVs integrated with Google TV run from $600 to $1,400. The Blu-ray player was $400.

Google has also found its service blocked from accessing Websites from CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox as the networks are leery of allowing Google to serve their content for free.

The Netflix application, for example, was just a dumb movie server, lacking the controls to let users add new titles to their instant queues, or otherwise manage their content beyond removing titles or fast-forwarding and rewinding.

Google has markedly improved this app, eWEEK found in testing this past week.