Google today announced another step in the build-out of its Google TV service: it is adding several new international channels in the form of apps to the Google TV platform, aimed at those who live in the U.S. but are missing content from home. Among them are a mix of entertainment and news services, including al-Jazeera, the Chinese-language PPTV, the IslamBox collection of channels, Yupp TV (another aggregator, this time of Indian content) and Japan’s Crunchyroll.
But while it is going international on one level, it is not on another: still no definite dates on when Google plans to launch its service outside of the U.S.
“We’re looking to roll out internationally through the course of 2012,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. But no specific timings beyond that, or the specific reasons for why is has not done so yet. “We don’t break out the reasons why, but we do want to make sure that users everywhere get the full experience, so we want to make sure we work towards that,” he said.
He also did not specify which markets might be the first to see roll-outs of the service outside of the U.S.
To get Google TV, Google currently lists two options: either buy a special Sony Internet TV, or a set-top box from Sony or Logitech that you use with your own Internet-enabled TV. Sony in January said that it didn’t expect to offer its Google-TV-enabled devices in the UK, at least, until September. That was already a delay on earlier estimates which had put it at an autumn 2011 arrival.
There could be a number of reasons for the delay, from supplies to getting international rights sorted out for the video and other content. That has been one of the key issues with the international expansion of other IP video services, such as Hulu.
At the moment, Google TV says it has thousands of apps for the service — basically, everything in Google Play (nee Android Market) that doesn’t require touchscreens, location or other mobile-only features — but in terms of apps that have been optimized for Google TV itself, there are 150.
Today’s list in full:
PPTV: HD cinema blockbusters and TV dramas from Asia, as well as anime series, variety shows such as Taiwanese Idol and China Super Girl, and live sports and financial news.
IslamBox: more than 40 live TV channels and over two thousand hours of video on demand in four different languages from around the world, including the Islam Channel from UK, Express News from Pakistan, Peace TV from India, Bridges Television from USA, Huda TV from Egypt.
Yupp TV: more than 80 channels available in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Punjabi languages.
Raaga: South Asian music from more than 200 music labels from the region in almost 20 languages including Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and more.
Crunchyroll: Japanese anime and Asian drama.
Euronews: web app that publishes news every 30 minutes covering the day’s top world, sport, business, lifestyle and breaking news in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
Al Jazeera: the English version, not the Arabic edition.