No, it’s not GoogleTV. But the search giant and Matushita, which makes Panasonic TVs, will team up to sell HDTVs with built-in access to Google’s YouTube video site and Picasa photo-sharing service, Reuters reports.
A smart move for Google, whose ad-driven business always benefits from increased distribution. The more eyeballs on Google products, the better.
But hardly revolutionary. Panasonic’s deal sounds a lot like an announcement Sony made at CES last year, in which some of its Bravia TVs would play Web video from AOL, Yahoo!, and Sony’s Grouper. Another non-starter.
The problem: TV companies are still not giving consumers what they want. “Walled-garden” deals like these and closed-off, set-top systems like Apple TV just aren’t compelling enough to justify the investment. What will we pay for? A TV with a real Web browser that offers full access to the entire Web via wi-fi/broadband — not some crippled gimmick.
See Also: How Steve Jobs Can Fix Apple TV
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.