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Dreaming of a Google Set-Top Box

Let’s play every techie’s most-favorite and least-favorite game: What will Google disrupt next? Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch has a speculative piece today on a potential Google-initiated, open-source hardware platform for set-top boxes in the mold of Android, Google’s new mobile platform.

Armed with “an unconfirmed rumor I’ve heard from two knowledgeable industry sources” and firm denials from Vincent Dureau, head of Google’s TV technology team, Schonfeld has postulated a customizable, widgetizeable, mashable, controllable vision of the future of television.

The idea is not preposterous. It probably wouldn’t be so radical to adapt Android — which has a small footprint, is fast, and will be server-managed — to a set-top box environment. Browser-based access to content from services like Hulu and would help Google (GOOG) overcome the problem of striking individual deals with content owners, and give it an advantage over closed platforms such as Microsoft’s (MSFT) IPTV and Apple TV (AAPL).

One problem: This being Google, it would presumably be monetized through advertising. But TV is already chock-full of ads! What do you think? Should Google get into set-top boxes? Would you use a Google set-top box?

6 Responses to “Dreaming of a Google Set-Top Box”

  1. I’m really getting concerned about Google.

    They are into everything. I’m worried that they might disrupt a Ouija board next and disrupt the space time continuum sending millions of lost souls along with every search.

    It will be like the end of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World where the ghosts show up in your car at the end of the ride except with Google they will show up in your webcam. Look out iJustine!

  2. Google should also release a Linux based Google OS a bit like

    To make sure there is a consumer friendly Linux installation on cheap computers that is usable by the mass market and which includes the optimal integration of all the Google Apps and integrates well all Linux apps.

    So that we all can buy a $200 Google Phone, $100 Google set-top-box and $200 Google PC, none of which would be manufactured by Google, but all of which run Google Apps and are supported by Google and optimized by them.

  3. Yes, Google has already proven that they are going to lead us all to a better , more usefull , technological future. It’s the companies falling behind…old media…that are most resistant to the change. They keep their old , antiquated ideas polished and in shiny wrappers, and are really keeping the communications game at a stand still. It will take a new company , with fresh ideas , to help things along. Even if it never becomes number one, resistance to change has already put the final nail in the coffin.