Hoping to spark both the suddenly sagging U.S. TV market and Google’s struggling Android-based TV platform at the same time, consumer electronics maker LG has confirmed that it will release in the U.S. two new smart TV models based on Google TV software later in May.
Priced at $1,699 for a 47-inch model and $2,299 for another measuring 55 vertical inches, LG’s so-called “G2 Series” televisions were unveiled in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and represent the first products from the second generation of Google TV devices.
The 3D-capable TV
will come with a Marvell dual-core chip set operating at 1.2GHz will allow users to blend PC-like Google experiences–such as searching the Web and watching video on YouTube and Google Play–with watching good old-fashioned live TV. For its nifty new sets, LG has also developed a Wii-like gesture-based remote controller that comes with a QWERTY keyboard.
New Google TV devices are also expected from Samsung, Vizio and Sony later this year, with Sony expected to expand the platform into Europe in September.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google is hoping that Korea-headquartered LG, which is the second biggest manufacturer of TVs, can help kickstart its Google TV platform, which saw one of its two initial hardware partners, Logitech abandon the technology after disappointing early sales last year.
LG, meanwhile, is hoping that connected TVs based on the popular Android software architecture will boost TV sales.
In March, for example, research company IHS Screen Digest predicted the U.S. TV market would decline about 5 percent to 37.1 million new models sold in 2012.
Mario Queiroz, VP of product development for Google, appeared at last year’s paidContent Entertainment conference, where he spoke about Google TV and how it actually isn’t a cord-cutting product: