Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

One of the assets that comes Google's way with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility -- as my colleague Larry Dignan points out -- is its set-top-box business. Considering the last batch of Google TV hardware has been close to an epic failure, the thinking goes that the platform could get a boost from some Motorola expertise.

One of the assets that comes Google's way with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility -- as my colleague Larry Dignan points out -- is its set-top-box business. Considering the last batch of Google TV hardware has been close to an epic failure, the thinking goes that the platform could get a boost from some Motorola expertise.

But what form could that integration take? Motorola could help create a Google TV device that picks up where Logitech and Sony's boxes left off, perhaps with better success. But as Slate's Farhad Manjoo notes, it's unlikely that they would go so far as a Motorola/Google TV box that a consumer could buy in stores that would provide access to the regular slate of TV programming from your pay TV provider without needing the provider's own box.

Alternatively, Google could take advantage of Motorola's existing relationships with cable companies to integrate Google TV with their set-top boxes. This would provide companies access to the Android ecosystem and all of those potential apps, though those companies may not want to brush aside the investments they made in their own interactive platforms so readily. As GigaOm puts it, "Operators in the TV space have been notorious for keeping their set-top experience a walled garden." That could be especially true if Google wants to plaster its search ads everywhere, when the cable company could sell its own instead.

That still remains the most logical way forward for Google TV and Motorola, though Manjoo also notes that Google could just decide to spin off the set-top business. At that point, you'd have to think that the tech giant would be ready to switch off its Google TV experiment altogether. And I can't imagine Google is ready to abandon a shot at playing in the (eventually burgeoning) interactive TV game just yet.

What do you think is the best way Google could integrate the Google TV platform with Motorola's set-top expertise? Let us know in the Comments section.

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