It seems like a complex set of features, but Google has gambled that people will prefer it to a jumble of set-top-like products wired to their TVs -- each with a different function.
The New York Times reports that "Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company's plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard." That means the debut will miss the massive Consumer Electronics Show -- the largest of its kind in the world -- in early January. Several large TV companies have already put the software into their sets.
Google may never have success with its TV initiative if it follows in the footsteps of another, earlier "wired home," which was created by Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) nearly seven years ago. The two companies weren't able to get consumers to break their normal patterns of consumer electronics use. The joint venture was meant to make the PC the hub of home entertainment. Google, too, may soon discover that Americans' living room habits are hard to change.