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).

Source: googletv.blogspot.com