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Samsung in last-stage Google TV talks, exec says

Yoon Boo Keun, president of Samsung's TV division, tells reporters to expect a Google TV-based device at an event next year that's not CES.

Samsung's Google TV-based set-top box.
Samsung pitched its Google TV-based set-top box, shown at CES last year, as an experiment.
Tom Krazit/CNET

We've heard stirrings for some time of Samsung's plans to jump into the Google TV market, and now, word from a top company exec all but confirms it.

Samsung is currently in "last-stage" talks with Google to launch a Google TV-based device, Yoon Boo Keun, president of Samsung's TV division, told reporters today, according to Reuters.

The report didn't stipulate whether the device would be an actual television based on Google software, which lets users surf the Web and manage their DVR, among many other features, or a set-top box a la the Logitech Revue with Google TV. In a statement sent to CNET, Samsung said the company "has been in discussions with Google, but there is no concrete plan of any collaboration at this stage."

Whatever the upcoming device may be, don't expect to see it at CES 2012 in January. Boo Keun said the company plans to unveil its Google TV gear at an event next year other than the gargantuan Consumer Electronics Show.

You may recall that at CES 2011, Samsung quietly showcased two devices--a set-top box and Blu-ray player running Google's software. At the time, employees of the South Korean company characterized the unannounced devices as an experiment.

Previously, in late 2010, Boo Keun said Samsung was planning to announce a line of HDTVs running Google TV.

Reports have also quoted sources as saying Samsung was working on Google TV-based products that use Samsung's own processors instead of Intel's, as do other Google TV products. Boo Keun did say today that Samsung's Google TV offering will "differ from those of competitors." We're listening, Sammy.

Add news of the advanced Samsung/Google talks to reports that LG may be looking to switch on Google TV, and November is adding up to be a pretty good month for Google TV. (Well, if you don't count the product being dismissed by Logitech and dogged by reviewers who called a recently released major update frustratingly unready for prime time.)

Update, November 22 at 6:10 p.m. PT: Samsung statement has been added.