ARM Powered Google TV launching at CES 2012!

Posted by Charbax – January 6, 2012

I've been posting over 20 blog posts about the ARM Powered Google TV over the past year and a half, and now it's finally going to be shown for the first time on several ARM Processors at CES 2012! ARM is I think the key to make Google TV seriously revolutionary and a huge worldwide success, revolutionizing TV, the media people spend 5 hours per day watching in average! Look forward to my up to 100 videos coming up next week from CES as I plan to film the top ARM Powered devices to be shown there.

The ARM Processors to be unveiled to support "The New Google TV Experience with Full Live TV Integration" are:

- Marvell 1500 (which I think I might have covered a few months ago nicknamed Project Berlin shown in a Zinwell prototype)
- Mediatek shows an ARM Processor for Google TV
- LG L9 is probably an ARM Cortex-A9 optimized for Google TV

TV makers to show new ARM Powered Google TV boxes at CES 2012 include:
- LG
- Sony
- Vizio

Might not yet be showing Google TV but probably are preparing to launch Google TV a few months later:
- Samsung
- Panasonic
- I expect Philips to replace their Set-top-box functionality with Google TV
- Sharp
- Toshiba

These ARM Powered Google TV boxes thus have the full Live TV integration mode supported. That means the ARM Processors are optimized to playback 1080p in 60fps, evt play 2 1080p video streams at the same time (picture in picture stuff), they support HDMI input and output at the same time, rendering overlay graphics on top of the 1080p video stream, controlling an IR blaster. I expect they also support all video codecs up to 1080p at full bitrates, I expect 1080p USB webcams are supported for HD video conferencing. USB host ports are supported to connect USB NTFS/EXT/FAT32 hard drives and USB sticks. Full Chrome browser web browsing on top of Android with Flash is for sure supported.

That means the ARM Processors used in Set-top-boxes such as Samsung Hummingbird, AmLogic ARM Cortex-A9 Single-core, ZiiLabs, Rockchip RK2918, VIA ARM9, probably those didn't include the "Full Live TV Integration" support. My guess is some of those may also be working on customizing some ARM Processors to also support the Live TV HDMI pass-through features, while others I think may be waiting to support Google TV without Live TV pass-through. Possibly that those other ARM platforms need to wait for Google to open source this new Google TV source code before they can try to use the basic Google TV functionalities without Live TV pass-through. Perhaps Google will announce a Basic Google TV version to use on basic ARM Processors that aren't providing the pass-through stuff.

For people who don't use Cable, Satellite, DVB-T/C/S, for TV, there is no need for the HDMI input features of Google TV. We still want to have a more basic version of Google TV that offers every other feature and may provide it on cheaper hardware.

We're talking a revolution in YouTube, a revolution in video-on-demand, a revolution in Democracy. Why and how? Simply because things are going to change and improve much faster as more and more people watch web video content directly on the TV in a leanback experience, and don't watch the content in small embedded players on a laptop or desktop computer. Things change as more and more people will watch web video content instead of regular TV channels when in the living room. Things change when more and more people watch more political videos through the web, such as watching official campaign videos explaining policies instead of only the short sound-bytes on news channels leading up to important elections.

The most important factor that will make ARM Powered Google TV a success is the price. Marvell CEO said in his keynote at ARM TechCon 2010 that it only costs $25 to add this type of Internet connected Set-top-box functionality into a HDTV, and that it thus only makes sense that nearly all new HDTVs will quite simply integrate this right inside of them. It will be expected by consumers buying a new HDTV, that Google TV functionality will always be included for free and that it does not increase the price. I think all HDTVs will include an Ethernet port, some might include WiFi or just support it using any WiFi dongle on one of its several USB host ports on the side. As Eric Schmidt has said, by the middle of 2012, expect that most new HDTVs will include Google TV functionality for free. Expect ARM Powered Google TV set-top-boxes for $99 with Live TV integration and $49 without Live TV integration (no HDMI input, no IR blaster).


  • Pug_ster

    I think google is going thru the same pitfalls as the original Google TV (definition of insanity.)  They are trying to do too much to quickly.   This is going to be an utter failure.  They should focus on something basic like making a competitive product compared to someone who would buy an roku or wd tv live.  Afterwards, they should people to create apps and games for the google tv device.  Then maybe they can then convince content providers to provide content for the users for a price. 

  • Many content providers aren’t going to be an official part of this, still blocking Flash in the browser when the device is detected, the simple reason is that some of the big content creators have decided Google TV is far too disruptive for them. Basically when Google TV become very popular, it’ll replace old TV networks, it’ll give an alternative to Cable and Satellite TV, it’ll even make it easier for people to pirate content using BitTorrent apps and RSS directly onto their TV.

  • Hideo Yamazaki

    i read your post at google+. ty for information

    hideo yamazaki from japan

  • Sprewell

    I agree with pug, Google is clueless about how to make a set-top box work.  It’s not about the price or hardware, which anybody else can do easily.  It’s about bringing completely new software features and business models, rather than superficial stuff like making your Google TV GUI marginally flashier than the horrible experience in existing set-top boxes.  I completely agree with Charbax that the internet-enabled set-top box is going to be revolutionary, for similar reasons to what he gave.  The question is who is going to be able to help new, independent content-creators monetize their content and which set-top box company will create and enable good content-filtering services, so consumers aren’t lost in the sea of online content.  So far, Google appears ignorant of both of these key challenges, which simply marks them as incompetent as everyone else entering this set-top box market, so nothing unusual there.

  • There is the search box on the TV, type the show, movie you want to watch, instantly it streams. Or click on the topic, category, subscriptions you want to watch the best of and automatically the best customized personalized playlist is generated and streams instantly. If you want to do some BitTorrent RSS downloading to a USB hard drive there is an app for that. This is exactly the types of functions Google TV enables and that is exactly what is revolutionary about this platform. In terms of monetizing, nobody is monetizing as many video content creators as Google is using YouTube, the YouTube monetization is only going to explode even much faster as millions of people are going to be using Google TV in the months to come. Not so long from now, Google TV is going to be the biggest source of revenues and profits for Google.

  • Sprewell

    I completely disagree, as there is nothing revolutionary about any of the features you list.  All they’re doing is taking the search box from the browser, RSS feeds/playlists from news readers, and existing bit torrent capabilities and putting all these long-standing desktop features on their GTV platform.  I doubt they will do much with bit torrent officially because of all the piracy issues, nor do I blame them.  But simply taking all these long-existing desktop features and putting them on the TV is exactly the problem.  The TV needs much better discoverability than that or people will be lost.

    It is already highly confusing to navigate a TV system with hundreds of cable channels, imagine how much worse it will be with internet video.  You need some sort of automated system that will surface recommended content for you based on your past likes: the recommendation system we’ve talked generally about before.  I have not seen any company doing this right, as somebody should have done this for written content on the web long ago, so I suspect we will have to wait much longer to see it.

    As for monetization, Youtube is a joke that loses money to this day.  Adding millions more users- not going to happen, but let’s stick with your assumption- changes nothing about that, as every additional view costs more and with its current weak, ad-driven monetization, the financials might actually get worse.  I’m fairly certain that Google TV is going to be a giant bust and they will have to give up on it one day soon, particularly when they have to pull back on Android altogether as it brings in no revenue while costing billions.

  • Google is forbidden by law to say untrue things to their investors, they have confirmed for over 2 years now that YouTube is profitable and it is run as a separate autonomous entity.

    The many channels problem is exactly solved also on Google TV through it’s HDMI intpout and IR blaster features, you type the show you want and it tunes to the right channel for you, now you never have to memorize the channel numbers and look through long program guides, nope, it generates the playlist for live and on-demand content for you automatically.

    Google can’t block BitTorrent and RSS, it’s an app. If content companies don’t provide legal good priced access to stuff like Hulu, and full movies access on cheap subscriptions for Google TV, then you can be sure the Google TV users are going to be just fine getting any content they want using BitTorrent and RSS automatically, simply connect any USB hard drive and type in the movies you want, if you have a 20mbitps ADSL your movie is downloaded within 8 minutes and streamable progressively within 3 minutes for free.

  • Sprewell

    Wow, your rose-colored Google glasses are so distorting your view that you’re now making stuff up!  Youtube is not profitable to this day, which Larry Page reaffirmed when he said five months ago that “YouTube… needed more investment to become profitable long term.”  That is why people speculate to this day whether Youtube will ever make money and when.  You may be thinking about Hulu, which has been profitable for more than two years now but is not owned by Google.  If you have official statements from Google saying otherwise, by all means point to them.  Google has been notoriously quiet about any Youtube figures, being sparing with even revenue figures.  Considering Google is a public company, who usually trumpet all good numbers, the fact that they’re being so quiet implies bad things for the Youtube numbers.

    Being able to search for shows you want through keyword search is not really a solution.  The software needs to recommend shows to you, by using your past likes, as you will not have heard of most of the thousands of shows available online, so telling people to just search for it is silly.  How will you know what to type into the search when you haven’t heard of most of the shows?

    I didn’t say they’d block bit torrent, I said they’d do nothing to officially integrate it and with good reason.  The moment you tie into torrent search engines or automatically get torrent feeds and make them searchable, you open yourself up to big lawsuits.  They may provide software libraries to make such torrent apps easier to create, but my point was that they’d always have to push those apps to third parties who may not care about legal liability.

  • Google confirmed YouTube profitability many times since 2009: 

    All those announcements would have been illegal if YouTube actually wasn’t profitable.

    Sure enough it’s a big deal, YouTube is the single biggest website in the world in terms of bandwidth consumed. 3 Billion free video streamed are served each day. Quite simply, Google now has a big enough share of those videos that are right now being more and more monetized and that means they are profitable.

    Here are some estimates pre-consideration of the huge upcoming impact on YouTube monetization from being able to display more video advertising using Google TV:

  • Google confirmed YouTube profitability many times since 2009: 

    All those announcements would have been illegal if YouTube actually wasn’t profitable.

    Sure enough it’s a big deal, YouTube is the single biggest website in the world in terms of bandwidth consumed. 3 Billion free video streamed are served each day. Quite simply, Google now has a big enough share of those videos that are right now being more and more monetized and that means they are profitable.

    Here are some estimates pre-consideration of the huge upcoming impact on YouTube monetization from being able to display more video advertising using Google TV:

  • Google has show recommendations now already. Unlike normal TV, you’ll give +1 ratings to the TV shows you like and it’ll instantly start to generate recommendations for what to tune into next, y9ou won’t even need to use the remote control, Google knows what which channel to switch to for you automatically. And if you are in the mood for another style of shows simply click to change to one of your other types of favorite themes, for example if you get tired of watching football you can switch to watching technology news shows, live TV and on-demand, switching between those in a click also. 

  • Google TV shows search results from any app that is installed. If you install a BitTorrent search app, it’ll show results from it whenever you search for anything, one click to add any BitTorrent search result to your download queue. That download can happen locally or to a 100mbitps or 1gbitps BitTorrent seedbox which you can rent anywhere online and stream from. Meaning even HD movies at 720p or 1080p can be fully downloaded to your encrypted seedbox and streamable in less than 15 minutes after you click, on-demand. There is nothing Google or the TV manufacturer can do to remove the BitTorrent search results from the user interface, that is the advantage of using an open platform.

  • Sprewell

    I doubt Google’s built-in Android search is being used with the bit-torrent app, more likely the torrent app has its own search functionality, which probably isn’t as good as Google’s.  They’ve all had recommendations for some time now, the question is how much user input they take and how well do they work.  So far, they all suck, including google, that’s the problem.  I suggest you actually read those profitability links you gave, they all have headlines like “Google sees YouTube profitable in near future” or ”
    YouTube profits ‘coming this year’,” which is pretty damning considering they’ve been predicting profits for two years now and have yet to turn a profit.  That confirms exactly what I said about scale not really helping Youtube, as their costs also scale because they have to pay for the bandwidth for all the extra views.  They are definitely spending a lot on bandwidth, the problem is that it’s not profitable to this day, which is why Youtube is a bust and continually subsidizing it with search profits is frankly a stupid move, just like Android.  As your last links note, people have had ideas about how Google could be profitable for some time now and yet it is not profitable to this day: that tells you something.

  • YouTube is profitable. Google is making Billions of dollars on display advertising of which YouTube is a big part of. And most importantly YouTube is a platform for Google to expand profiting very rapidly as things like Google TV appear and more and more high quality content is published exclusively on YouTube. They haven’t even started offering overlay one-click purchases, pay-per-view, subscription plans, all those are coming to YouTube also.

    The BitTorrent search in integrated search in Google TV just as any other app. Same thing for Chrome, you can shortcut to search on any website. There is no way Google or anyone else can prevent you from searching through any app from any site.

  • Also YouTube is the number 1 biggest website n the world in terms of bandwidth and the number 2 biggest search engine in the world, far in front of bing or any other search. YouTube is the best acquisition Google has ever done right after Android of course.

  • Sprewell

    If you’re serving video, of course you’ll be using the most bandwidth. 🙂 Youtube is the worst acquisition they ever made, because not only does it lose money to this day, but they will lose the Viacom court case at the Supreme court and be liable for hundreds of billions of dollars.  Youtube could bankrupt Google on its own, it was that moronic a decision.

    Wow, you really are a diehard google fanboy if you keep insisting Youtube is profitable despite all evidence to the contrary, including Larry Page’s own words from last summer.  Your notion that Youtube will ever dominate once they put a bunch of ads and paid plans is exactly why it was a dumb acquisition in the first place.  It is easy for any competitor to come along and do the same, in fact, Amazon and Apple and Hulu have been doing it profitably for years now.

    As for bit torrent search, a browser like Chrome is completely different than an app on Google TV.  It is easy to index websites on Google’s web search and not claim responsibility for the contents, as long as you comply with the DMCA.  But Google TV’s search likely doesn’t include content from third-party apps and if it does, that may open the door to get sued for doing so, so not sure you want to keep saying they’re doing that.

  • You’re being totally ridiculous. Google has consistently confirmed that YouTube is profitable at every single earnings calls thes past 18 months. Simply stop saying Google CEO says it’s not profitable, that’s not what he said.

    Google TV works like a web browser, that’s what makes it revolutionary. When you search for a movie or TV show it can show illegal BitTorrent search results together with legal pay-per-view and live TV, exactly because each of these are like Chome search shortcuts, quite simply any app that can get downloaded through the Google TV marketplace OR directly as an .apk from any website (if for example Google does not allow a certain app officially), and search results do show. Saying Google TV may not do this would be like saying that people who buy a Windows computer may not install whatever program they want and may not browse to any website they want. That is simply NOT possible and NOT part of the way Google TV is made. It’s an open free platform and it is built to revolutionize TV.

  • Sprewell

    Haha, either you don’t know how to read English or your Google fanaticism has rendered you well and truly crazy. 🙂 Google has never said Youtube is profitable and I gave you a direct quote and link from the CEO saying just 6 months ago that it’s not profitable yet.  For you to keep making ridiculous claims otherwise is a level of fanboyism that is truly nuts. 😀

    Saying GTV works like a web browser is just silly.  The whole point I’m making is that GTV likely doesn’t search through the contents of a bit torrent or engadget GTV app, because they likely want to avoid legal issues and because that would take extra APIs and integration.  You keep asserting that “illegal BitTorrent search results” will still show up but are vague about where that data comes from.  If you mean that GTV searches the web, sure, web search works like normal, but that’s just going to start up a web browser, like any desktop computer, and is not going to be a seamless experience.  If you mean that they’re searching the content database of a bit torrent app you downloaded, you are most likely wrong, that’s the whole point I’ve been making.  I’m not sure you understand the distinction, since you talk in very vague terms and don’t seem to understand these technical issues.
    In fact, an early version of GTV even searched “across different video sources by including episodes available for free streaming on network TV websites and playing them back, but that was quickly snuffed out,” presumably because of legal complaints.  Those are the same legal reasons why they probably can’t integrate bit torrent search seamlessly, just like desktop operating systems can’t.

    You end by implying that I’m saying that you can’t install any app you want on GTV, which anyone who can read would know I never said.  I was only talking about search integration from the beginning.  In any case, I now see you’re such a hopeless fanboy that little things like facts, links, and reasoning are lost on you, so I’ll stop posting to this dumb thread.

  • Arguing with you is extremely boring.

    Google CEO never said YouTube, Android and Chrome are not profitable!!!!! You must not keep claiming that. Google CEO never said so!!!!!

    The fact is since Larry Page is CEO he has refocused Google into 6 independent arms with sub-CEOs managing each area independently, and he is focusing more investments in each of those big areas, YouTube, Android and Chrome being 3 of those. Those are ALL PROFITABLE NOW, Google CEO Larry Page just wants to see them be even more profitable.

    He is right. YouTube is going to be Google’s number 1 source of revenues and profits as soon as the Google TV revolution has sweeped the world. Within 6 months, more than 50% of new HDTVs will all come with Google TV integrated. The top-3 HDTV makers have already announced that all their upcoming HDTVs will come with built-in Google TV for free, that includes Samsung, LG and Sony. Other HDTV makers like Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips are all also expected to announce that their full lines will support Google TV by default built-in for free. The fact is hardware to support Google TV costs as little as $25 and it makes no sense for all HDTV makers not to include it for free, best as a module that can easily be swaped in case of a new faster Google TV hardware comes out in the future to not have to use a set-top-box.

    Oh man, go read up and watch the demo videos of how Google TV works, ANY APP, ANY APK can use the Google TV search function, ANY, NO RESTRICTION,NO SPYWARE, NO SOPA, NO SPYING, you install an apk and if that apk uses search, everytime you search on Google TV (meaning start typing at any point), it will show results for all the apps that support it, that includes apps like Google Search, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu (if the lame and corrupt TV networks allow Hulu on Google TV), the app that manages Live Program Guide and IR blaster, any other app that includes search functionality, if you install ESPN, CNN or Twitter apps it’ll show results for those, and with options for each app to customize each of them, ANY APP, ALL APP, THEY ALL HOOK INTO SEARCH ON GOOGLE TV. Bye.

  • Sprewell

    Nope, as usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about, likely because you don’t really understand these technical issues.  I actually searched for some info now, which may be pointless to you as you simply ignore such evidence, but what I found is that the Android search manager framework also applies to GTV.  This means that it’s completely up to any Android/GTV app whether it wants to expose its database to GTV’s search or not, not automaticfor any and all apps as you wrongly claim.  So while bit torrent apps can tie into the existing GTV search, that is completely up to the bit torrent’s app developers and whether they want to do that additional work, and my original point stands that GTV isn’t going to go out of its way to officially include bit torrent app search results, for obvious legal reasons.

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