Google testing TV search, setting stage for future viewing habits

Google testing TV search, setting stage for future viewing habits

Summary: Google is reportedly testing a search service for TV viewing, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Google is testing a TV search service on Android OS set-top boxes, according to a Wall Street Journal report, but it's still unclear whether the experiment will go anywhere. The service, being tested in conjunction with Dish Network satellite TV service, would allow users to search Dish programming as well as video Web properties, such as YouTube.

The WSJ report is thin on details but notes that users would search via keyboard, rather than remote control. It also notes that Google hoped to link the service with its TV ad-brokering business. The tests reportedly began last year. Google declined comment for the WSJ story.

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.

What's also interesting is Google's use of the Android OS as the backbone technology for the set-top box. The operating system has largely been talked about in the form of netbooks - but there's no reason that it couldn't power something like a set-top box.

Still, it's hard to imagine that set-top boxes will be around for much longer as Web technology moves directly to the TV screen itself and eliminates the need for add-on devices.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware, Software Development

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  • Well, for many, an Android set top box might be their only computer!

    But, in any case, most will want a computer (we
    don't have to call it a set top box) dedicated to
    running the TV, even if the only content comes from
    the internet.
    • Why would most want a computer to run the TV

      when the tv does a great job of showing TV programs without needing a computer?
  • If all content comes from the web, the lines between a all-in-one computer

    and a TV will get rather blurry.
  • TV guides suck...

    There is a lot of improvement that can be made with a smart set top
    box and a smart remote. For example, you could see all movies by
    actor or director, time filter the results and automatically program
    your DVR with a single click. You could browse IMDB for details, you
    could maintain your browsing history so you always find channel you
    were watching. And on and on. Built in TV guides and remotes are
    rather primitive. Just wait for the next Apple device...
  • RE: Google testing TV search, setting stage for future viewing habits

    I love the DISH Online option to watch TV. I work for DISH and I use this all the time with my laptop. I like to keep up with all my shows when I go places as well. I was at the restaurant last night and I was watching Top Gear while I waited for my food. This I suggest to everyone. You can also rent movies with thousands of titles you will never get bored.
  • RE: Google testing TV search, setting stage for future viewing habits

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