Friday, October 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm.

Google updates Google TV but punts on the real question

Google announced a new interface and new features for Google TV today, including the ability to run Android apps from Android Market. That’s fine and good, and early Google TV adopters may appreciate these changes.

But the real question — that will determine whether Google TV is a long-term success or failure — is still: Are TV manufacturers increasingly committing to using Google TV as their default operating system, the way handset makers adopted Android?

Google’s Mario Queiroz and Vincent Dureau punt on that in the last sentence of their post: “We look forward in the coming months to announcing new software updates as well as new devices on new chipsets from multiple hardware partners.”

The chipset reference is actually important, as Intel — Google’s first partner on Google TV — recently announced plans to wind down its connected TV business and focus on different opportunities. (My understanding is that in the price-sensitive TV market, the relatively expensive Intel chips weren’t flying off the shelves.) So now that Google TV — like Android — will support a variety of different chipsets, that might help.

The New York Times just adds, “new devices, including from Samsung and Vizio, are scheduled to arrive next year.”

And, yes, it is still very early in this field. But I still haven’t seen anything that would suggest consumers or TV makers are clamoring for Google TV.

Let’s give it another year?

Also: Here’s why Apple’s TV needs to be an actual television, and not just a cheap add-on box