Now that's a first. Panasonic is passing on "Google TV" because it'll be too expensive to implement Android on their sets. In the smartphone space, manufacturers love Android because of its open source nature (read: no licensing fees) but in the realm of television it's the opposite--because Android is a powerful OS, it needs a powerful computer-type chip to power it. Intel makes those chips, and they ain't cheap. The logic is, 'televisions are used to display media, not be a computer' but it sort of reeks of 'let's keep our margins as high as we can for as long as we can'. Televisions are quickly becoming hubs for Netflix streaming, Youtube viewing, and a ton of other web content. The current options are janky and slow, Google might have a solution.

We think if "Google TV" can prove itself awesome, Panasonic and others may change their course. But TVs have been so slow to embrace the internet that we don't even know if Google can pull it off. TV manufacturers want to give us 3D. We want the Internet, and Google, everywhere, right? [businessweek via androidandme]


Reader comments

Panasonic says no to Google TV because it's too expensive


I, for one, agree with Panasonic on this one. Sort of. Adding so much functionality into the TV itself means that when the Next Big Thing® comes along, I may need to upgrade my TV for some reason other than better resolution. I would much rather have a separate (cheaper) box to add additional functionality to my entertainment system so that when new functionality I want comes along, I can just replace the box if the software can't be upgraded to implement the new functionality.

From what I read, it has more to do with the fact that it requires (in its TV form) an Intel processor, which adds onto the current cost of TVs.

I'm having trouble buying this explanation. In a market of $200 game consoles and $300 desktop towers, it's hard to believe that the computing necessary to put Android inside (possibly using a Moorestown processor) would add more than 20% to the price of the $500-1000 digital TVs purchased by the average consumer. The cost probably wouldn't be hard to pass on to the consumer, given the added value. Maybe HTC can move into the television space.

I dunno. I just bought an LG last summer, and it says very clearly on the box that it's running a 2.19 Linux kernel. I got a pretty good deal on it, too: a 42" screen for ~ $750 (USD). Kinda smells like FUD from here.

I'm sure this is one reason for the youtube makeover, goodbye 5 stars, hello thumb up or down. easier to vote from the couch.. still a bad move for youtube