Google TV will make European debut next year

With lot of interesting content becoming available on the web, a medium like Google TV should see a good response.

Google TV has been plagued with so many teething problems that many analysts have questioned how committed Google is to being a part of the project. But now Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google Inc. has clarified that Google TV will start its services in Europe from early next year. "We expect Google TV to launch in Europe early next year, and of course the UK will be among the top priorities," he said.

The service allows users to mix Web and television content on the TV screen, through a web browser. It was in October last year that Google TV made a debut in United States, but it was swiftly blocked by three of the two broadcast networks in USA. A major section the news and entertainment industry views Google with suspicion. Google is popularly viewed as an entity that corners large chunk of the advertising revenues without contributing anything to the cost of creating content.

In the speech that he made at the Edinburgh television festival, Schmidt tried to allay some of the fears. He said, Some in the US feared we aimed to compete with broadcasters or content creators. Actually our intent is the opposite.

"We seek to support the content industry by providing an open platform for the next generation of TV to evolve, the same way Android is an open platform for the next generation of mobile," he added.

In USA, Google TV has hardly gained any market. The maker of its set top box, Logitech, has been forced to slash prices to $99 in July from an initial price of $299 in October last year. Schmidt also expressed the opinion that the British television regulators were much more stringent than their counterparts in USA. Such stringent regulations, he claimed, could threaten the development of British television companies in an increasingly global market.

"Stifling the Internet - whether by filtering or blocking or just plain turning the 'off' switch - appeals to policy makers the world over," he said. "Instead, policy makers should work with the grain of the Internet rather than against it."

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