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Samsung to sell Google TV Blu-ray player, companion box

Jan 10, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Samsung Electronics has shown off a Google TV-based Blu-ray player and companion box at CES, due to ship later this year. Meanwhile, Vizio unveiled two HDTVs running the Android- and Intel Atom-based Google TV stack, including a 56-inch model.

On Jan 7, Samsung joined Sony, Logitech, and Vizio as a hardware partner for Google TV, unveiling a new Blu-ray Player and companion box for the web TV surfing service at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Google TV users will access the Samsung devices via a special Google TV remote control, featuring a full QWERTY keypad and voice search supported through an internal microphone.

Samsung's Google TV-based Blu-ray player prototype
Source: ConceivablyTech

While the new appliances — currently in prototype phase — will be part of Samsung's smart TV product line when it rolls out in the first half of 2011, Samsung Electronics Visual Display President B.K. Yoon said the company has not decided whether to construct a Google TV set or not.

Samsung's approach is a cross between those of its rivals. Sony is currently selling Google TV-loaded Sony Internet TV sets and Blu-ray players. Logitech sells a "Revue" companion box loaded with Google TV.

Earlier last week at CES, Vizio showed off its own Google TV sets and Blu-ray players. The products include Via Plus branded 47-inch XVT3D476SV and 56-inch XVT3D556SV HDTVs.  Vizio has enabled its newly announced, Android-based Via Tablet and Via Phone (pictured at left) to operate the Google TV appliances via a built-in IR blaster with a universal remote control app.

Built around the Intel Atom processor, Google TV is Google's customized Android platform that allows consumers to surf the web on TV through the Chrome browser and manage their television and DVR content through one interface, complete with search and applications. Users can, for example, watch a football game, and then pop open a web browser to tweet about it while continuing to watch the contest in a small window. (A recent Google TV update enables users to place the second window anywhere they want on the the TV screen.

The service has taken its lumps for being slow and buggy — the integrated Netflix app was a chore until it was refreshed last month — and reviews have been poor to lukewarm by experts turned off by the quirks, laborious setup, and high price points.

Reports of Google TV hardware delays appear to be exaggerated, however. Google says it remains on track to release a special Android SDK for Google TV to enable developers to write applications for the larger screen.

Clint Boulton is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

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