While it held off from integrating Google TV into its new Smart TV platform, Samsung is apparently testing the platform in two upcoming products: a new Blu-ray player and a separate set-top box. As we previously reported, LG will also be introducing a set-top box, called the Smart TV upgrader, for its Smart TV platform, though it doesn't support Google TV.
At CES, Samsung didn't reveal many details about the new products, which will let users surf the Web and access other online content using Google's Android operating system and its Chrome browser. One reason, perhaps, is that Google is reportedly updating the Google TV software following a lukewarm reception to the first products to integrate it.
Both the new Blu-ray player and set-top box will bring Internet access and other Web-based content to TVs that currently lack it. They will include a variety of Internet apps and services and come with a newly developed remote control with a full QWERTY keyboard and the ability to search using voice commands, thanks to an integrated microphone.
Pricing for the new devices wasn't revealed, but the company said prices would be available in the first half of this year. We'll be interested to see what new Google TV features will be included in the device, and whether Samsung moves to adopt Google TV more broadly in its other Web-enabled devices.
—James K. Willcox