Looking no doubt to boost its Google TV offering, the search giant has purchased yet another company, in this case SageTV, which provides an alternative software option to Windows Media Center. At first blush, it may seem like a redundant exercise, since being the hub for your digital media is the whole point of Google TV already.
But GigaOM speculates that Google doesn't want SageTV for its DVR functions, or its UI. Instead, the tech news site zeroes in the place-shifting software that SageTV has developed. As with a Slingbox, this features allows you to view TV programs, either live or recorded, remotely on another device. So you could be watching a program from your home PC while you're in a hotel room with your laptop half a world away.
The strategy GigaOM proposes is that Google wants to build this place-shifting functionality into Google TV, which would help give it a leg up on competing devices like Roku and Apple TV. Then Google could provide this feature for Android mobile devices; there is already a third-party app that lets you control SageTV and watch video from your Android phone.
There's a sense that the acquisition isn't about adding DVR features to Google TV, though SageTV does have those capabilities. So it's still a bit of a mystery why Google made the purchase. Anyone that uses SageTV care to speculate about what Google sees in the software that it might want to add to Google TV? Let us know in the Comments section.