Earlier this week Google announced that they would be launching a set-top box in the UK market for the first time.
Google’s TV offering has struggled in the US, where it launched in October 2010. Logitech, a partner, lost millions after launching a Google TV set-top box in the US at Christmas 2010. During one quarter, more boxes were returned by customers than sold and the company later pulled out.
Google has since spent heavily on the product, as the living room shapes up to be the latest battleground for internet companies. Nearly a million net-connected TVs were sold in the UK in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, out of a total of 10m TV sales. But it is not clear how many were then actually connected to the net.
If I remember correctly, in the US Google integrated the box deeply with the Dish network, which apparently doesn’t have that many subscribers.
If they were to integrate a Freeview HD tuner and EPG, while simultaneously allowing media streaming capabilities from *any* source, they could really make a dent in the UK market.