Samsung hints at Android TV as Lava’s hits the streets

Samsung may be working on an Android-powered TV, if hints from the company’s TV boss are to be believed.

Yoon Boo Keun yesterday told reporters in Seoul that “We will have to see, but we are reviewing.” But, he told Bloomberg, any plans will depend on whether South Korean movie, TV and music providers can be persuaded to cooperate with Google.

And he said that the company – which already has its own Bada smartphone operating system – is also working on its own OS that could run on both phones and televisions.

While Samsung is currently a market leader – it’s the biggest TV manufacturer in the world – it could see that lead eroded as smarter boxes start to hit the market.

Apple and its $99 set-top box pose a threat, as does as Sony, which has already announced plans to develop an Android-based TV, to be released late this year. Sony’s been showing an early version off this week, and says its first model will be a 46-inch HDTV based on a 1.2GHz Intel Atom CE4100.

But Yoon told reporters that competition is likely to peak as early as 2012.

Meanwhile, Scandinavian company People of Lava has announced its own plans for Android TVs. It’s offering 42-inch, 47-inch and 52-inch models costing from 2,500 euros. They are based on the Samsung 833MHz Cortex-A8 processor, and run on the Android 1.5 OS, thanks to some customization work.

It’s available now, making it the first Android TV to actually hit the streets.