August 26, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Rumors emerged earlier today suggested that Google would introduce GoogleTV to the UK in the next six months. In his Mac Taggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed that GTV is coming to not only the UK, but much of Europe as well.
“We expect Google TV to launch in Europe early next year,” Schmidt said in his lecture, according to a report filed by Reuters. “And of course the UK will be among the top priorities.”
Neither an exact date nor a list of countries expected to be supported was shared, but Schmidt previously suggested a launch within the next 6 months. We could see a European Google TV product as early as December or as late as February. One would expect the new Google TV products to launch with an Android Honeycomb variant with access to Android apps and newer hardware.
Google TV debuted in October 2010 as a U.S.-only launch, but the Android-powered, Internet-connected television failed to catch on with consumers. Androinica even called it the “best television add-on that you don’t need.” Network resistance led to limited content, and overpriced hardware made it difficult for Google TV to take off in the states (Logitech and Sony have both since dropped their prices).
Schmidt promises that Google will continue with plans to bring Google TV to more regions, including Europe. He also reiterated previous statements that Google TV aims to be a complementary service to broadcast television, not a direct competitor. That was the original promise when GTV launched in the states, but all of the major television networks and most known content providers, save Netflix, blocked access to the Logitech Revue and Sony Internet TV. Schmidt hopes there won’t be a repeat of those setbacks in the UK.
“We seek to support the content industry by providing an open platform for the next generation of TV to evolve, the same way Android is an open platform for the next generation of mobile….
Stifling the Internet — whether by filtering or blocking or just plain turning the ‘off’ switch — appeals to policy makers the world over. “Instead, policy makers should work with the grain of the Internet rather than against it.”