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The battle for the living room: will the new Google TV revolutionise home entertainment?

With rumours of an Apple TV still rife, Google has made another attempt at perfecting their own Smart TV technology, this time putting it behind LG screens. But will this finally crack the nut of integrated home entertainment or will it be another disappointment for Google?

Previous models, such as the Samsung Google TV 2.0, fell short of consumer expectations due to a lack of compatible content and poor support from hardware manufacturers, while those involved in the project (such as major partner Logitech International) have reported millions of pounds worth of losses as a result of their involvement.

Yet, despite their setbacks, Google has continued to redevelop their technology, hoping to pioneer the next generation of TVs long before their rivals. This new model offers more content from affiliated services, such as YouTube, which is a strong move considering the UK launch of YouTube Movies.

Third time lucky for Google?

So, could this latest model be third time lucky for the persistent pioneers?

Few details for the new TVs have been released, with screen sizes, purchase prices and technical details all remaining a mystery. This means an evaluation is nigh-on impossible and even sales targets and unit figures are as yet undisclosed.

The announcement from LG’s Executive Vice President for the TV business unit, Ro Seogho, merely confirmed:

“Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 [...] and US consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of May 21.”

The new model will be trialled exclusively in the United States with a wider roll-out to European and Asian countries only considered if successful.

While this means Americans will get the latest slice of the technology pie first, Brits will gain the privilege of evaluating the TV’s success before parting with their cash – stopping them investing in another ‘dumb’ TV.

The future of TVs

With Google Play Store downloads recently reaching 15 billion, apps and their smartphones expected to dominate the mobile market within five years, it is clear Google are going from strength to strength.

Whether this success is repeated with their new TV remains to be seen but one thing is certain – the future of TVs is far from clear cut.

According to figures, the market for internet-enabled TVs has grown by 60% to around 95 million sets this year, compared to the pathetic growth projected for the standard market just 2%.

This means Google’s TV and the rumoured Apple TV could good head to head over coming months, making the living room the latest battlefield in the war between these two global giants.

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