Google's home entertainment foray: Why the Motorola deal may work

Summary:The search giant's Motorola acquisition, which on the surface looks like it's all about Android and patents, may ultimately turn out to be about the living room.

Google is reportedly developing a home-entertainment system under its own brand that will have integrated hardware and software. Sound familiar? It sounds like Apple's plans. Fortunately for Google that master plan also rhymes nicely with Motorola.

The Wall Street Journal reports that this home entertainment system from Google will offer streaming music. Other content is also likely to be offered. The reaction from tech watchers is mixed. And that reaction is valid given Google TV flopped.

Via Motorola, Google is already in your living room.

Via Motorola, Google is already in your living room.

But don't get too quick to count out Google. Google doesn't know hardware, but Motorola does. The search giant's Motorola acquisition, which on the surface looks like it's all about Android and patents, may ultimately turn out to be about the living room. Why?

Motorola is bringing a large installed base of cable set-top boxes to the party. There are two set-top box players---Cisco and Motorola. Motorola Mobility brings home IP video, home digital video and home networking tools.

In other words, Google will already have a big footprint in your living room as soon as the Motorola deal closes.

It remains unclear whether Google and Motorola can get the idiot proof integration done that the living room requires. But Google will have hardware expertise via Motorola. If Google's home entertainment foray works the Motorola purchase---and the profit margin pressure that comes with it---may be justified.

Related:

Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition: Does it still add up?

Topics: Google, Hardware, Mobility

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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