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Schmidt: TV makers to adopt Google TV within 5 years

Eric Schmidt makes big promises. The Google chairman says makers of high-end TV sets will feature Google TV or similar software within five years.

Not surprisingly, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt sees a brighter future for the poorly received Google TV at this point than almost anyone else does.

File photo of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Greg Sandoval/CNET

Schmidt was in Great Britain the past few days once again showing off his virtuosic skills at generating headlines for the search company. He spoke about Google+ and privacy. He allegedly criticized the Brits' education system. He also made this comment, according to the Globe and Mail:

"Virtually all the television manufacturers on their very high end will eventually adopt Google TV...or perhaps one of the competitors that will emerge. We know this space exists. The issue is getting that started, getting the applications built and so forth, and that's taken quite a while."

Schmidt said this adoption of Google TV would occur within five years. That certainly is big talk, but is there anything to back it up?

Google TV is software that places a Web browser on TV sets. With Google TV, owners are supposed to be enabled to access all manner of online video.

But that's not how it's worked out. One of the software's biggest drawbacks has been the lack of content available on the software. All four of the major TV networks have refused to allow Google TV to access their Web content. Schmidt said that Google continues to try to convince them to change their minds.

Even so, there are few signs that many at the networks are interested in licensing an over-the-top solution like Google TV and possibly putting Google in a position to compete with cable and broadcast partners.

It appears there are only two ways Google TV is going to get the networks to backtrack: pay big sums to license the content or try to challenge the networks in court.

Schmidt downplayed Google TV's content acquisition troubles. According to him, the software's woes are caused by how slowly consumers replace TVs and he played up the fact that the software was just a test version.

He emphasized that Google TV and will become much more popular with TV makers. Schmidt said while visiting the U.K. that he believes Logitech and Sony, the two manufacturers of devices featuring Google TV, will remain partners adding that he also believes many more partners are coming.

That's fairly interesting considering what happened to Logitech. A year ago, the gadget maker doubled down on its Revue set-top box, which is equipped with Google TV, and the demand was so soft that it had to drop the price from $249 to $99.

Many observers are hoping that Google will roll out a new user interface that can help raise the software's prospects.