It has been a long year for Google TV. The first (and only, so far) round of hardware started shipping in October 2010 and at the time, promised the Android Marketplace with its wealth of third party apps early in the next year. That clearly didn't happen, and it quickly became most notable for what it was being blocked from doing, like streaming video from TV providers like Hulu and various network TV websites.
After various false starts and delays, Sony Google TV and Logitech Revue hardware will finally receive updates to Android 3.1 Honeycomb (congratulations Google, now where's Ice Cream Sandwich?) starting this weekend with Sony up first and Logitech "shortly thereafter." The biggest additions are the aforementioned apps, a new interface, and a refocused system for content discovery that starts with the new TV & Movies app .
As important as new hardware will be to determining the quality of Google TV's second chance, the situation there is still unchanged. While current partners Sony and Logitech remain on board as Samsung and Vizio wait in the wings, definitive word on ARM processors, new control interfaces, or additional manufacturers will have to wait until 2012.
For now, the biggest question is if Google really can provide a new kind of content discovery experience that thrills viewers and reels in wary content partners; and more importantly, can they do it before efforts from familiar mobile competition like Microsoft and Apple take over the living room game? One thing is clear, as Mario and Rishi refer to the future as a marathon and not a sprint, whether or not Google is the most successful in changing our TV experience, we're sure they won't stop trying.