Google TV Stumbles Ahead of CES

Google TV’s big launch event was supposed to be at the Consumer Electronics Show at the beginning of January, but the Internet search company has asked companies to delay showing off their Google TV products while it works on improving the software. According to the New York Times, the request came as a surprise to many manufacturers that were already ramping up to show off Google TV-enabled TVs at CES — which is only a couple weeks away.

Companies such as Sharp, Toshiba and LG Electronics were on board to demonstrate their Google TV products at the giant trade show, but for now it appears those plans are off.

Google TV at CES? Not so much.

The delay will give Google time to improve its Google TV software, but it also means that partners building compatible televisions may have to push their product launches out as far as a year. Since Google TV has received a tepid reception so far, however, manufacturers may be better off waiting for Google’s software update before showing off their new gear.

The software setback also gives competitors, including the Apple TV, even more time to chip away at Google’s potential home entertainment center customer base. It won’t, however, help overcome the cold shoulder Google TV has received from the major networks. So far, ABC, CBS, NBC and Hulu have all blocked their content from streaming to Google TV.

The delay, especially so close to CES, underscores the headaches Google’s partners experience. “Google as a company is not a particularly partner-friendly or partner-focused company,” commented Forrester analyst James L. McQuivey.

Google TV won’t be completely absent from the trade show. Sony and Logitech have already released Google TV-based appliances, and Samsung plans to show off a similar device.