Going into this year's Consumer Electronics Show, there was considerable buzz surrounding Google TV. There were rumblings about new partnership deals and even a quote from Google Chairman Eric Schimdt that by next summer Google TV would be on "the majority of the televisions you see in stores."
Well, CES has come and gone and the news surrounding Google TV wasn’t at all what many thought it would be.
Both Sony and Vizio announced Google TV-equipped streaming devices and Blu-ray players. Even some of the strongest of these devices, however, haven't had a significant impact – Roku has only shipped about 2.5 million units in the three years it has been around.
LG and Vizio announced new high-end 3DTV's with Google TV, but Sony has taken Google TV off any TVs that had been equipped with the software in the past and Samsung made no Google TV announcements at all at CES, instead unveiling enhanced apps on its own platform.
While there was some Google TV news at CES, it was all limited to streaming devices and a few high-end 3DTV's. Without a wider impact this year, it's looking like Google TV is not going to have the substantial impact that it was rumored to have before CES.
The fact is, there is a huge universe of programming that can stream into people's homes over a high-speed broadband connection -- so much content that it's really difficult to make it easy enough for most people to find what they want to watch. Most research indicates that the vast majority still want to kick back, pop open the can of soda, and flip through the channels. Although younger people are more apt to work harder to find streaming options, I believe it will take years before that type of TV viewing becomes mainstream.