Google TV makes French connection

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 28-09-2012

Two years after kicking off in the US, Google TV has arrived in France embedded in a new Sony set top box (STB).

The box allows users to connect their TV set to the internet, through cable or Wi-Fi, even though the device is not a connected TV.

The arrival of Google TV to France is significant given it is a market where connected TV and social TV have not really taken off yet. Since arriving in 2009, only 3 million Connected TV sets have been sold in France according to data from GfK institute. Forecasts predict sales will represent 28 % of new purchases in 2012. However, only 40 % of houses owning a connected TV set are actually connecting it to internet.

Sold at the price of €199, or €299 for the version integrating a Blu-ray player, Sony’s box gives access to all Google’s environment and line-up of apps along with Sony Entertainment Network’s library of music and videos.

Coinciding with the French launch, new partnerships have been signed with providers such as France Télévisions (VOD, youth programming app) or news channels euronews and France 24. Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF) regards the launch as ideal for companies such as France 24, RFI and Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD).

The three media will offer a complete trilingual offer (English, French and Arabic) at this occasion. France 24’s interface for Google TV allows all users to get the three versions live, all the channel programs on demand in three languages, as well as the latest articles published on in real time.

In its Arabic version, the service includes live broadcast of Monte Carlo Douliya radio and references all the articles from the website of both media.

French historical channels have not yet authorised Google TV to transmit lives feed through Sony’s box.