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Today in Connected Consumer

Last year’s International CES was a bust for Google TV. Just weeks before everyone descended on Vegas, Google was forced to ask its hardware partners not to display their planned Google TV sets because it had become abundantly clear that the platform was not ready for prime time. This year’s show, which opens next week, is already looking better for Google. The company confirmed in a blog post yesterday that LG, Vizio, Samsung and Sony will all be demonstrating Google TV sets in Vegas. It also announced that the latest iteration of Google TV devices will be powered by Marvell’s ARM-based chips, replacing the Intel CE4100 chips in the first-generation devices. Among other things, that should make the new Google TV devices significantly cheaper than the earlier devices. The move to ARM-based chips was probably inevitable after Intel shut down its Digital Home Group in October, but the cheaper silicon has other benefits to Google. After last year’s debacle, Google no doubt had to spread quite a bit of money around in Korea and Japan to persuade CE companies to come back on board. With Google picking up most of the development and technology costs for the new sets, lowing the cost of the silicon was critical.