LG Is Said to Plan to Debut Google TV at Trade Show in January

Google Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. may unveil a television using the search giant’s software at the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to two people with knowledge of the project.

The product would be LG’s first model with Google TV, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions aren’t public.

Google is trying to build a coalition around its Google TV software, which adds Internet features to televisions. Enlisting LG, the second-largest TV maker, may help shore up the effort amid dwindling support from an early partner, Logitech International SA. That company is backing away from the partnership after disappointing sales.

Claire Jang, a spokeswoman for Seoul-based LG, and Robin Moroney, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Google, declined to comment on the discussions between the two companies.

Google introduced a redesigned version of the service last month after the initial rollout failed to meet some expectations. The Mountain View, California-based company, escalating competition with Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., unveiled the original TV service last year with Sony Corp., Logitech and Dish Network Corp.

LG and its bigger rival Samsung Electronics Co. are embracing the Internet and 3-D in a bid to revive TV demand and cope with plunging prices. Sony, which sells televisions under the Bravia brand, has forecast an eighth straight year of losses at its TV business.

New Look

The revamped version of Google TV service has a simpler interface. The upgrade was designed to show the YouTube video-sharing service better and opens up the platform for Android developers to build applications for TV. Android is Google’s software platform for mobile devices.

After the debut of the TV service, Google failed to secure programming from the four major U.S. broadcast networks, led by CBS Corp. and News Corp.’s Fox.

Logitech, based in Romanel-sur-Morges, Switzerland, doesn’t plan to manufacture new set-top boxes for the Google TV service after it runs out of inventory, said Guerrino De Luca, chief executive officer. Logitech cut prices earlier this year after slow sales.

“The integration of television in Internet is inevitable,” De Luca said at an investor event earlier this week. “But the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided.”

The Electronics Times, a South Korean newspaper, reported this month that LG was in discussions with Google to use the TV service. The report didn’t give a timeframe for the product’s unveiling.

Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, also was in discussions with Google to develop a Google TV product, Yoon Boo Keun, head of Samsung’s TV business, said in February.

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