Google ventures into television

March 8, 2010 11:49:24 PM PST
"Just Google it" -- someday that might the answer to the question "What should we watch on TV?"

According to the Wall Street Journal, the search engine is searching for a way to combine couch surfing with Internet surfing.

"Clearly Google and a number of other companies want to make the whole TV experience as searchable as the web is," Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Vascellaro said.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a small group of Google employees is testing how to use a set top box that would let viewers search for TV shows while also checking out websites like YouTube.

"I think it's a good idea for Google to compete in this market, but they do have competition, so they have to do it better if they're going to win," tech analyst Larry Magid said.

An avid techie, Magid's living room is so tricked out he can already search some websites from his TV. He uses his Roku set top box to get to Facebook or Netflix and he's hooked up his computer so he can go to websites like ABC7NEWS.COM. So what Google is proposing is already possible, but theirs would be simpler and would not require so much equipment.

"The good news for the consumer is we're going to have a lot of choice when we watch television," Magid said. "We're going to have our broadcast cable and satellite but we're also going to have the Internet as well."

Google refused to comment on the story, so it is unclear when this could happen and how exactly the gadget would work.

"I think Google is experimenting with lots of interfaces; not sure what they'll come up with, but one thing they are testing is the keyboard approach," Vascellaro said.

The money will come from what Google does best -- searching. The company will learn about users from what they watch.

"Unlike broadcast that has to deliver one ad to all viewers, Google can customize the ad for the viewers' particular interest and that's a very powerful platform," Magid said.


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