ARM-based Google TV STBs "coming soon" tips insider

A Google source has apparently confirmed that ARM-based Google TV boxes are coming soon, presenting an alternative – and potentially far cheaper – processor option to Intel's CE4100 media chipset. ARMDevices' unnamed source at the search giant didn't say whether or not the ARM-based platform was expected to replace Intel's, or live alongside it, but it confirms talk back in November 2010 that ARM was in talks with Google.

The news opens up the possibility for far cheaper STBs running Google TV than the current range of options. At present, the cheapest way to get Google TV functionality is via Logitech's Revue, a $299 box based on the CE4100; Sony also makes a Blu-ray player with integrated Google TV, while Vizio announced a pair of Google TV integrated HDTVs at CES last week.

Instead, ARM-based STBs could come in at around the $100 price point, though at such a level it's unclear what the specifications would support. 1080p/60fps might be beyond the cheaper ARM-based chipsets, potentially seeing them limited to 720p/30fps instead, though given the limitations of home broadband connections that might be sufficient for many would-be users.