Google wants in on the TV business. How badly? It's not quite clear yet. For a year now, the search giant has been working on a new service that incorporates conventional TV and Internet content, reports The Wall Street Journal. It would run on TV set-top boxes that are connected to the Internet and use Google software. Users will be able to search through and create lineups of content from TV and web video services like YouTube. Though Google won't comment on the initiative, it has reportedly partnered with Dish Network, a satellite TV provider with about 14-million subscribers. Could Google TV takeoff? Here's what business and technology writers think:
- May Succeed Where Others Have Failed, writes Jessica Vascellaro at The Wall Street Journal: "Previous efforts to access Internet programming on TV sets have failed to catch on, partly because they required consumers to purchase extra hardware. By working directly with an operator like Dish and its hardware, Google could avoid the such issues."
- Very Promising, writes Sam Diaz at ZDNet: "Linking Web content and traditional TV programming into a searchable database for viewing is a smart idea. Eventually, TV programming will be funneled through the Internet instead of cable and satellite systems. Viewers will need a way to not only find programming but discover new ones, as well. I imagine search will be one of those new ways of discovering programming."
- Don't Hold Your Breath, writes Devindra Hardawar at VentureBeat "Even if all of the cable and satellite providers decide to jump on Google’s TV search service, it will likely be some time before we see it in our living rooms. Rolling out the service would require replacing current set-top boxes, which is something that traditionally happens at a snail’s pace."
- Never Gonna Work, writes Douglas McIntyre at Daily Finance: "Google is up against the fact that the majority of set-top boxes in the U.S. are distributed and controlled by major telecom companies, particularly AT&T and Verizon, which have fiber-to-the-home products, and the largest cable companies including Comcast and Time Warner Cable. It is not clear why these firms would want to do business with Google. They have their own advertising sales forces and would hardly want to join the search firm's online TV ad bidding service. Bidding services tend to drive down ad prices by allowing marketers to search for the cheapest rates."
- Lots of Competition Here, notes Daniel Ionescu at PC World: "Notably, Google tech rivals Microsoft and Apple have been making forays into the TV market for years with their own Internet-linked products such as the Windows Media Center and Apple TV. TiVo has also introduced last week a Web-enabled set-top box, which will bring cable programming and streaming content from Internet to TV screens."