It wouldn't be far off the mark to call Google TV as one of the unmitigated disasters of 2010 - 2011. Through the failure of the Logitech Revue, it was responsible for Logitech's below-par performance last year, and also for the stepping down of its CEO. Anand covered Intel's winding down of the Digital Home Group and it could be said that Google TV / Intel's concept of Smart TV not taking off as expected was one of the reasons.

However, Google doesn't give up on its efforts without a fight. With access to the Android market and an upgrade to Honeycomb, Google TV received some life support last October. However, pricing and device power consumption were the two other prime factors which needed to get addressed. The first generation Google TV devices were all based on the Intel's CE4100. Despite being a highly capable platform, it suffered from a number of issues such as high silicon cost (leading to higher priced Google TV units) and unreasonably high power consumption. With Intel's shuttering of the Digital Home Group, it was inevitable that Google and its partners would end up moving to an ARM based platform. Given that ARM has remained the architecture of choice for Android smartphones, this was also a move predicted by many.

We covered Marvell's foray into the DMA (Digital Media Adapter) market with their ARMADA 1000 platform. Today, Marvell is officially launching the next generation ARMADA 1500 (88DE3010) SoC. They also announced their team up with Google and indicated that all the Google TV boxes at the 2012 CES would be powered by Marvell silicon.

The ARMADA 1500 (88DE3100) is the follow up to the ARMADA 1000 (88DE3010) introduced a couple of years back. The 88DE3010 is the same chip which is being used in the Nixeus Fusion XS which started shipping recently. It is also the chip used in some high end (in terms of cost) 3D Blu-ray players like the Kaiboer K860i and the Asus O!Play BD players (BDS-500 and BDS-700).

Marvell's ARMADA 1500 : The 88DE3100
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  • djc208 - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    My sister just got a Sony BD w/ Google TV, more for the Google TV than the BD, she loves it, but she wants mostly streeming and the keyboard is much more convenient for searching than most remotes.

    I'm hoping Google does something with this. They bought SageTV last year, presumably to help them in this area as Sage had some really good software for recording and serving local media. I'd hate to see them die in a Google basement for nothing. Especially when the Sage community is now on life-support.
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Boxee's remote implementation (of the keyboard) is much more CE / consumer friendly than the full fledged one which came with the Revue. The Sony keyboard is somewhat inbetween. Google needs to put some basic guidelines for the manufacturers to get the user input environment / facilities right.
  • ol1bit - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    I have the Sony as well, and works great for me, but the goggle tv part isn't much better than what my wireless Vizo Tv has already.

    Goggle needs to get some content other than no name channels. Some TBS/ABC/HBO options would really help.
  • rothnic - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    While I agree with your comments related to the first iteration of the Google TV software, I don't agree with the second part.

    I bought a Revue for $99 when the announcement that HC and market was coming to it. I have a HTPC, but don't want to have to switch over to it, wake it up etc when I just want to stream something. Installing Plex has allowed me to almost never use my HTPC anymore since I can play a great deal of my NAS(running the plex server) content.

    In my opinion the interfacing with the STB is a key integrating feature and extends your STB functionality. With the addition of the market it really will grow to be an amazing capability. There are plenty of streaming devices out there, and Google TV devices are definitely a step forward. They were just sold with alpha software and at a bad price. With both of those fixed, I see no issues with it.
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Revue makes sense at $99. So, with the new Marvell SoC, we can get the 'Revue' at $99. But, does the Revue handle all the local media that the WDTV Live SMP is able to at the same price? I am not a fan of running a media server (for transcode purposes) on a NAS or another PC just to make up for the inefficiency / deficiency of the player. The player should just see a network share and stream from that in full quality (no messing up the audio or playing at a lower resolution, sorry!). The Sony BD player running Google TV could have been the perfect media player for playing MKVs, ISOs and all the other requirements that local media enthusiasts have? Unfortunately, Google TV didn't quite work what could have been its magic over there.

    For all the online services that the Revue supports, can it better a lower cost dedicated solution from Roku or NTGR or even the WDTV Live SMP?

    First, Google should get the above two aspects right, and after that, it can go and interface with a STB and a DVR. Also, people should think about whether it is necessary to really record TV.. With content available online (both legal and through 'dubious means'), the necessity to record stuff is going the way of the dodo..
  • MSIC - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Sounds to me like Google TV is trying to do what Boxee have been pretty successful at doing - providing a robust and appealing "10 foot UI" that both streams local media and IPTV.
    Given Google's size.... why not buy Boxee??
    (I can see that it repeats the above comment about Sage, and i'm an XBMC user myself due to the flexibility that it gives, but i still think Boxee is the best stab yet at this sort of device for Mr & Mrs Joe Public).
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Yes, I can definitely see the value in Boxee's trifecta model (Free to air broadcast channels, streaming media services (OTT) and personal media collection). Google could learn a thing or two from them for Google TV.
  • owan - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    But everyone out there does this. I agree that GTV tried to do it all and failed to do any of it, but theres no incentive for Google to be Roku or Boxee. They need to be more than that, hence their decision to do STB integration. The problem, at least in part, is that they pushed it out way too early without the market. With no Android market they completely shot themselves in the foot since they became a "me too" player with subpar implementation of both local and network playback and no "killer app". I guess they assumed STB integration would be the differentiating factor, but thats a tough nut to crack properly because the CableCo's are actively trying to fight internet content delivery in order to protect their business.
  • pugster - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Part of the big mistake of Google TV is trying to integrate with a STB. Instead, Google should be making something that could compete with Roku's and WD tv live and go from there. A device with an ARM CPU 512mb of memory and about 2gigs of flash for less than $100 and other manufacturers can probably make it for about $60 range. Who knows, maybe google can lure content providers and make the google TV as the IPTV like.
  • jjj - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    Google just marketed it wrong,it was a livingroom PC while for some reason people expected it to deliver content.After that,it seems,that Google just gave up on it (no software updates,no market access) waiting for the Intel contract to expire.

    "Google TV should just provide the users a low powered media streamer device with the perfect hybrid of OTT services and local media playback capability"

    Why would they do that and why would that sell?They have to provide something more,somthing that matters if they want to take over our TVs and it doesn't have to be about content delivery since that industry is ...well,nuts and it's very hard to get a reasonable ,usefull, deal. They will have Motorola soon,they might get Hulu in the end so they do have some more options than before.

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