Google TV to Launch in Europe

Some observers have questioned Google TV's viability in the crowded video -streaming field. But it is marching on for now.

Google TV isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. It will launch in Europe early next year despite a shaky start in the United States.

At home, it has suffered mixed reviews and had problems with content when three major U.S. television networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- blocked full episode video streaming from their Web sites to Google TV devices.

Some observers have questioned Google TV's viability in the crowded video -streaming field. But it is marching on for now.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt made the announcement about Google TV heading to Europe as part of his remarks Friday night at the Edinburgh television festival in Scotland.

"Some in the U.S. feared we aimed to compete with broadcasters or content creators. Actually our intent is the opposite," he said, according to Reuters. He added, "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."

Google's $12 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility earlier this month may supercharge Google TV by adding one of the biggest makers of set-top boxes into the mix, as PCWorld has pointed out. Motorola Mobility also brings solid relationships with cable companies that opens the door to more opportunities for Google's effort to move on to home TV screens.

Google TV brings Chrome into the living room and lets users search for things they're interested in, whether it's an actor's name, sports team, or channel name, and pulls up content from the Web as well as where it's playing on television. If you use a USB video camera, the box also turns your TV into a video-chat monitor.

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Christina DesMarais

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