It wouldn't be far off the mark to call Google TV as one of the unmitigated disasters of 2010 - 2011. Through the failure of the Logitech Revue, it was responsible for Logitech's below-par performance last year, and also for the stepping down of its CEO. Anand covered Intel's winding down of the Digital Home Group and it could be said that Google TV / Intel's concept of Smart TV not taking off as expected was one of the reasons.

However, Google doesn't give up on its efforts without a fight. With access to the Android market and an upgrade to Honeycomb, Google TV received some life support last October. However, pricing and device power consumption were the two other prime factors which needed to get addressed. The first generation Google TV devices were all based on the Intel's CE4100. Despite being a highly capable platform, it suffered from a number of issues such as high silicon cost (leading to higher priced Google TV units) and unreasonably high power consumption. With Intel's shuttering of the Digital Home Group, it was inevitable that Google and its partners would end up moving to an ARM based platform. Given that ARM has remained the architecture of choice for Android smartphones, this was also a move predicted by many.


We covered Marvell's foray into the DMA (Digital Media Adapter) market with their ARMADA 1000 platform. Today, Marvell is officially launching the next generation ARMADA 1500 (88DE3010) SoC. They also announced their team up with Google and indicated that all the Google TV boxes at the 2012 CES would be powered by Marvell silicon.

The ARMADA 1500 (88DE3100) is the follow up to the ARMADA 1000 (88DE3010) introduced a couple of years back. The 88DE3010 is the same chip which is being used in the Nixeus Fusion XS which started shipping recently. It is also the chip used in some high end (in terms of cost) 3D Blu-ray players like the Kaiboer K860i and the Asus O!Play BD players (BDS-500 and BDS-700).

Marvell's ARMADA 1500 : The 88DE3100
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  • Hubb1e - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that's basically what I was saying too. Yes GoogleTV would be able to operate as a standalone box. That basic functionality would be basically local media playback, a browser, and the App store. Any other functionality would be provided by the manufacturer like Sony adding BD playback, or Logitech adding whole home control.

    The DVR box would probably be Google branded because they'd have trouble getting a DVR company to support GoogleTV especially after the first failure, but any other GoogleTV box would be able to act as a client to the GoogleTV DVR box.

    I really think that DVR is required for something like this to work. Yes, there are other options out there for content, like streaming and stealing, but those are still big time niche markets. Streaming is really catching on, but it still lacks the full catalog of shows, lacks sports, lacks news shows, and is spotty on availability. DVRs are absolutely essential to get the average person to buy one of these things beyond what they can get in an $80 BD player of today. Most up to date consumers have a BD player with Netflix and Vudu (or equivalent) and a DVR. Combing those boxes makes sense, and Google is poised to jump on that. Other benefits are that a set top box could also benefit their mobile and vice versa.
    Reply
  • syxbit - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    If it can stream better than a Roku, do local playback better than a WDTV, do local streaming (NFS/CIFS), and be fanless, I'm buying it day one.

    If it has a fan, or doesn't do local playback of MKVs, or if it can't read linux filesystems (ext3/ext4) over USB, then I'll stick with my WDTV.
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Well, hard to say about if it is fanless or not, but Aple is not for open format using. Their music devices and their normal aplication customs are guite a lot against it.
    If you are going to stick on all official Apple formats, you will be fine...
    Reply
  • dijuremo - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    So I really wanted to get a Google TV like device for streaming and everything else due to the low $99 price. However, it is missing one very important feature, Media Center Extender or an application that is compatible with the HDHomeRun Prime. Why? I dread paying Comcast ~$20 per month per digital box for each TV. So instead, the solution is to use the Silicon HDHomeRun Prime then with one of these on each TV in the house I can watch 3 channels simultaneously with all the encrypted channels included.

    So far the only reasonable solution is the Xbox 360, but at $199 each, it is a bit too expensive and I also assume they eat way much more power than a small Google TV box (I may be wrong here though).
    Reply
  • starkenator - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    Are the Apps on the current Google TV going to have to be re-written for ARM? Does anyone know? Reply
  • syxbit - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    A few apps (mostly games) are written in native code, and would need to be recompiled, but almost all apps are written in Java, so they'd run on the DalvkVM just fine. Reply
  • binqq - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

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  • doctorpink - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    one thing i dont understand... do you all have unlimited cap or what???
    and quality... is it close to a x264 ~2gig video ?
    Reply
  • BrianTho2010 - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    For what its worth, Marvell's Qdeo technology is somewhat of a gold standard in the AV Receiver world when it comes to upscaling. Looks like an interesting chipset. I would certainly like a streaming box with this chipset. It seems better than everything else currently on the market. Reply
  • signorRosso - Saturday, January 07, 2012 - link

    In hardware or software?
    10-bit is mentioned at the bottom of this AT article page...
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/discrete-htpc-g...
    Reply

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