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Google TV reportedly being phased out in favor of a new 'Android TV' brand

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Google TV booth I/O
Google TV booth I/O

It's been a quiet year on the Google TV front — the company's biggest portal into the living room was barely a presence at Google I/O this past summer, and now we're getting an idea why that was the case. According to a report from GigaOm, Google plans to phase out the Google TV brand — but a rebranded "Android TV" will still be available to manufacturers. That's according to an unnamed executive at an unnamed consumer electronics manufacturer, but it wouldn't come as a big surprise despite the ambiguities. Most smart TVs already have many of the features Google TV offers, and the platform itself is based off of Android.

With Google TV never gaining significant mindshare from a consumer perspective, it might make sense to relaunch under the highly-popular Android brand. Google TV has been waiting for an update to some variation on Android Jelly Bean from its older Honeycomb roots, and this rebranding might be part of that update.

Chrome, another of Google's biggest talking points, could be another big part of the strategy — particularly given the inexpensive and relatively flexible Chromecast dongle that Google's now pushing as a way to get web content to your TV. It appears Google's plans aren't quite finalized, however — apparently the project is being referred to as both "Android TV" and "Google services for TV" by Google employees. One way or another, it looks like Google will take yet another crack at living room dominance, quite possibly this fall alongside the launch of Android 4.4 Kit Kat.