Google has sealed its first set-top box deal for its Google TV platform: Customers of South Korea’s LG UPlus IPTV subscription service can now chose to get a Google TV-powered set-top box instead of their plain old cable box. This makes South Korea the 10th country with Google TV devices available to consumers, according to a Google blog post.
The Google-powered box will offer access to VOD, linear television and Google TV apps. Users won’t have to pay any extra fees for the Google TV device, but they will have to subscribe to both TV and internet services though LG UPlus, according to a Google spokesperson.
What’s interesting about this deal is that the set-top box is being made by LG UPlus itself, and not by Motorola Mobility, which got recently acquired by Google. Motorola Mobility is best known for its mobile phones, but the company also is a manufacturer of set-top boxes in use by cable operators like Comcast and others.
Initially, it seemed like Google might want to use Motorola Mobility to deliver Google TV-based set-top boxes to major cable operators, but many of the U.S.-based players have so far resisted the idea of an open app platform on their TV hardware. That’s why more recently, there’ve been a lot of rumors that Google is looking to unload Motorola Mobility.