Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Banking, CXO, Enterprise Software, Google, Hardware, Mobility

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17 comments
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  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    I have some ideas I think may be worth some money. Would I have to patent them in order to try to make money form them ? I think google tv / motorola can put out a single product that would likely take a large amount of local cable companies share of the digital public telelvision profits. @google interested ? The idea I want to patent involves google software and motorola products..
    paul hernandez
    • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

      @paul hernandez Yes Paul, we are interested in what a man who has little to no experience who posts on articles like this to show us how to do our jobs. Get real! go check out altavista and maybe they will be interested in your idea fag.
      @...
  • Google TV is a failure ....

    ... because IT SUCKS and Google refuses to legally license the rights to stream media from the content owners.
    Adding MotoMob into the equation is not going to change the fact.
    wackoae
  • As long as the remote for Google TV is a full qwerty keyboard......

    ....it will be a big fat FAIL!
    Userama
    • Qwerty keyboard

      @Userama
      Last night as I used my Revue keyboard to type in the search terms for the programs I wanted to watch you were going left, left, left, up, up, up, right, right, right: to spell out the name of the program you wanted to watch. Then I surfed the net to find a YouTube video on a product I am interested in buying. You would have had to go left, left, left, ... Wait a minute, you can't do that at all!

      Logitech Revue and Google TV are already good. They have changed the way we watch TV and use computers. When we get 2.2, the market and some content deals it will be ten times better. And the case for using a Qwerty keyboard will be even stronger.
      keith.manning@...
  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    Google copying open source code and then claims its 'proprietary'. This company's executives should be sent to prison.
    owlnet
    • Repetition

      @owlnet
      Lately this is all we hear from you....
      Can you try to stay on topic?
      rhonin
  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    As you say, the interactive TV market is likely to grow at some point. In fact I think control of the living space entertainment is likely to be the next biggest/hottest market after mobile for some years. People/families spend a lot of cash each and every month on home entertainment. Position yourself right and you are the gateway to high value video/interactive/gaming content with an opportunity to take a slice of each of those pies. I'm not sure Google TV is the answer, but some aggregate of Motorola's STB experience/relationships and Google's internet knowledge could be.
    bookofthefuture
    • Well said

      @bookofthefuture
      [b]+1[/b]
      rhonin
    • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

      @bookofthefuture
      I agree...I don't think there is any way Google will jump out of this space. TV is still the number one source of entertainment for US consumers...maybe not us techies, but if they can make it easy to use and get the content then I think they win.
      kc1977
  • What's a Google TV?

    'In the news today, Google TV was tragically deleted from human memory...'

    Remember WebTV? Well, it was a bad idea then and changing the name to Google TV won't save it. Once they can control it with a Kinect-like device (voice and gesture command), then they'll have something. For example, you walk into the room a la Back To The Future and say - "TV on, channels ESPN, HGTV, Weather Channel and HBO". Then you control it with gestures... at least, that's what I'd pony up $300 for.

    Microsoft got the Kinect technology right but their application of it left something to be desired. Google, there's no shame in licensing a good tech in order to build a great product. Don't let the fruit company beat you to it...
    Corey340
    • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

      @Corey340

      WebTV is alive and well. It is now the AT&T Uverse. And, *that* is the lesson that Google needs to learn. Cable companies are unwilling to relinquish their oligopolies. They have a captive audience and are not looking for any "partners" that are are going to compete.
      Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

      @Corey340 Google is already developing it own Kinect type technologies internally. An some of those will be on the next version of Android. I am sure they will also introduce voice control at some point. Which ought to be fun way for little sister and brothers to annoy there older siblings.
      Knowles2
    • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

      @Corey340
      right now the Logitech Revue is at number 15 on the highest selling products on Amazon's Electronics: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics
      kc1977
  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    Google TV, although lacking some substance, has some validity when paired with Motorola. Google TV currently offers "family room games" like We Draw and Poker which use Android phones as controllers. Could the acquisition of Motorola give Google a shot at the massive and lucrative gaming market? How about a Set Top Box that offers a wide variety of movies and TV shows online whether it be pay-per-view or subscription and over-the-air HDTV for local channels. An agreement with the large sports networks as well as food and home networks to allow on-line subscriptions would help to complete the package.

    With the electric companies looking into smart grid technology and possibly offering internet access over the electric lines, maybe we could get rid of our cable lines as well as our phone lines.
    rono167
  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    Let's not forget about Google's recent SageTV acquisition. How do they intend to bring together MotoMo's set top boxes, SageTV's software/hw combo and Google TV?

    The MotoMo acquisition was not about the set top box business - it was just an afterthought. While Google now has a bunch of pieces for making a more successful move into the "living room", I've yet to see any kind of vision emanating from Mountain View that, together, they could turn into something powerful.
    breissim
  • RE: Can Google's purchase of Motorola save Google TV?

    Google TV is a waste of money. You can't watch anything on ABC, CBS, Nickelodean, NBC, MTV, etc. because they are all blocked. You can watch online TV with other services like the TVDevo website . They offer several viewing options for worldwide TV and movies.
    kathyweig