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Google TV Devices Delayed as Google Tweaks Software

Inhibited by slow market acceptance of its new Google TV product, Google has announced a delay to its product plan as it addresses shortcomings discovered since its October release. The news came as the technology industry gears up for the popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, Nevada next month.

What’s up with Google TV?

Consumers, retailers, and manufacturers have long anticipated a big Google TV splash at the 2011 CES, but news has emerged from The New York Times that new Google TV capable devices have been pulled from the event.

Apparently feedback from consumers using Google TV hardware made by Sony and Logitech indicates widespread dissatisfaction with the software that manages the interface. Although many industry watchers want specific details about the flaws Google intends to fix, the search engine giant has been mum, leaving them up to broad speculation.

About Google TV

Reviews of the first Google TV products showed a curious blend of the Google Chrome Web browser, Adobe Flash (to serve advertisements, of course), and the Android operating system running on a mini computer based on the Intel CE4100 media processing unit. The operating system was not open source (most analysts expect it to become open source in the future) and the Google TV marketplace was still non-existent.

Overviews of Google TV written by Engadget and others seem to suggest that the interface is difficult to navigate. Programming guides are reportedly hard to find and decipher while recording devices other than those furnished by Dish TV seem to have some operational issues.

Ironically, one of the major complaints about the Google TV has centered on inferior search functions that make it difficult for users to find the programs and features they want.

Other features such as DualView did not seem to be working properly.

Hurry up and wait

Just as vendors wishing to sell devices powered by Google’s Chrome operating system were stymied by Google’s development team, Google TV manufactures are apparently now in a holding pattern, missing out on the exposure and publicity from CES that they counted on to provide impetus for their products.

Television makers Samsung and Vizio, were expected to follow Sony’s Google TV into the market in the aftermath of CES, but now are on the back burner as the companies wait for software updates from Google.

Internet TV skeptics

Another major factor that has limited the acceptance of Internet television may be found outside of Google’s purview. Technology still seems unable to deliver any program at any time which – when compounded by service and usability problems – may limit Google TV’s success, even if it delivers new software.

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