Samsung says in last-stage talks to launch Google TV

SEOUL Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:12pm EST

Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul October 28, 2011.   REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul October 28, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics, the world's top TV maker, is in last-stage talks with Google to roll out its Google TVs, the head of Samsung's TV division told reporters on Tuesday.

Google TV -- which currently comes built-in on certain Sony Corp television models and on Logitech International set-top boxes -- allows consumers to access online videos and websites on their TVs, as well as specialized apps such as video games.

Samsung in January displayed a new Google TV-enabled Blu-ray player and companion box at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but did not commercialize the offerings.

Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung's TV division, said the company planned to unveil its Google TV at an event next year without elaborating on the schedule, saying only the firm was working with Google on the rollout.

Samsung's Google TV service would differ from those of competitors, he said on the sidelines of a local forum.

Google in October unveiled a revamped version of Google TV service, hoping to making inroads into the living room despite consumers' lukewarm reaction to its initial offering.

Yoon also said Samsung plans to unveil TVs featuring next-generation OLED displays at the upcoming CES to be held in January in Las Vegas.

OLED displays produce crisp images and do not need backlighting, making them slimmer and more energy-efficient than LCDs, the most popular type of flat TVs.

Yoon expected the global flat-panel TV market to grow by about 10 percent next year despite economic uncertainty, helped by sales growth in internet-connected TVs and replacement demand. He also said Samsung was looking to outperform the market next year.

TV makers are grappling with slowing demand and cutthroat competition that has squeezed margins.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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