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Logitech calls Google TV a 'mistake,' stops making set-top boxes

Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca says there are no plans to introduce another box to replace Revue. He predicts that the 'grandchild of Google TV' might succeed, but not the current product.

November 12, 2011|By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from San Francisco — Logitech International has dropped out of the Google TV revolution.

Logitech Chief Executive Guerrino De Luca is writing off Google TV as a "big mistake." He said Logitech will stop producing its Revue set-top boxes, which enable televisions to receive Internet video.

At an event for analysts and investors Thursday, De Luca called last year's launch of Google TV "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature," according to technology blog the Verge.

De Luca said the company would bring "closure" to the "saga," which included steep price cuts to the Logitech Revue set-top boxes, by letting the inventory run out this quarter.

He said there are no plans to introduce another box to replace Revue. Further, he predicted that the "grandchild of Google TV" might succeed, but not the current product.

For now, that leaves Sony televisions with the Google Inc. software as the only other way to get the Google TV experience.

Consumers will continue to get customer support for the set-top boxes and automatic, free updates to the Google software, Logitech spokeswoman Rose Maciejewski said in an email.

She also noted that the company is "optimistic about the long-term opportunity for the Google TV platform and the potential for Logitech to offer associated products as the ecosystem evolves."

A Google spokesman downplayed the blow to Google's TV aspirations, saying the company would announce new partnerships with hardware makers for its next generation of Google TV devices.

Not everyone has lost faith in Google TV.

LG Electronics, the world's second-largest television manufacturer, may take the wraps off a television using Google's software at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

But Google still has not won over the four major broadcast networks. That remains a big problem, said analyst Rick Munarriz.

"As the owner of a Google TV, I appreciate the software upgrade that the search giant rolled out earlier this month. It does improve the platform. The interface is more fluid," Munarriz wrote in an article on the Motley Fool website.

"However, Google still needs to play nice with Tinseltown for this to revolutionize smart televisions," Munarriz wrote. "Google can't be right all of the time. For every Android hit, there will be a Google TV that stumbles out of the gate."

"It's hard to argue with De Luca's painful assessment," he said. "Google owes Logitech an apology, though what would be even better is if it finally takes Google TV to the next level to make Logitech regret that it ever left."

jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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