LG Electronics, the world's second-largest TV maker, first announced plans to join the Google TV fray at CES 2012 in January, despite the lukewarm reception the platform received from customers. Well, it appears those plans are about to come to fruition as the company prepares to ship the first units later this month. Ro Seogho, executive VP of LG's TV business, told Reuters that the firm will start building Google TV sets on May 17 and consumers will be able to buy them starting the week of May 21.
The executive didn’t reveal any details relating to screen sizes or pricing, although according to PC World, the South Korean firm has previously said that its Google TV-powered lineup would include LG Cinema 3D displays between 55 and 84 inches (diagonal), a 3D conversion engine that can turn any 2D TV show or movie into a 3D spectacle, and an LG Magic Remote including a QWERTY keyboard.
A revamped Google TV 2.0 was announced late last year but so far not many major hardware releases have backed it up. Logitech famously gave up on Google TV last year after blaming it for a $100 million loss, but giants including Samsung, Vizio, and Sony are all on board and expected to announce new products soon.
The search giant hopes Google TV will do for the living room what Android did for the mobile market. But TV manufacturers are playing it safe by pushing their own platforms along with Google TV. LG, for example, plans to fit around 60 percent of its TVs with its own NetCast platform. The firm will decide whether to expand its Google TV offerings to Europe and Asia after reviewing sales performance in the U.S. market.
LG also has previously announced plans to integrate Gaikai, a video game streaming platform akin to OnLive, to some of its high-end products later this year. Like OnLive, Gaikai allows subscribers to play graphically intensive games on weak hardware, by processing games on remote servers and pumping the visuals to you.