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What Does Google Have In Store For The Set-Top Box?

Once again, rumors are making their rounds that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is going to make some sort of set-top box play. The latest: The WSJ reports that the company is working with Dish Network on a new feature that would let users search both TV content and web videos on set-top boxes “using elements of Google’s Android operating system.”

The Dish Network tie-in makes sense, since both companies already have a close relationship on the TV, where Google TV Ads counts Dish Network as one of its primary partners.

But there are some big caveats and unknowns: It’s unlikely that the service will come to market soon, since the WSJ makes a point of emphasizing that the tests are limited for now to a “very small number” of Google employees.

Also, no set-top boxes that run on Android are currently on the market. But as far back as November 2007 there were rumors that Google was working to build an app platform for set-top boxes. Nothing has come of that, although that effort would presumably be related to this one in some way.

If Google did go ahead and launch some sort of ‘Google TV search,’ competitors would include Clicker, the much-hyped (and funded) online video search engine which has deals with set-top boxes like Boxee and popbox, so that users can search Clicker from their TVs.

A Google spokesman said the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.

4 Responses to “What Does Google Have In Store For The Set-Top Box?”

  1. as an employee of DISH Network I can tell you that not only is the Logitech revue a sweet product, it makes it only better with the 120.00 off that brings the price down to the 179.00. You can also integrate your Revue to work with your dish in two way communication for only 4.00a month. Check it out at

  2. Surely this is a game that Google can play whilst avoiding the cable companies? With the new connected TV’s launching there is no reason why a consumer cant plug straight into the TV set and bypass all the platform operators – just done a blog on taking this to its logical conclusion – a Google TV set!

  3. The cable industry will never allow google into their existing ad sales business, control, control, control.. The sat/telco operators have no legacy ad sales to protect so they are much more open to experimenting with Google. The real game is watching the Canoe Ventures, Visible World, INVIDI turf battle for the cable business.. Look for a merger between two of them SOON.. And bid goodbye to David Verklin at Canoe..

  4. Interesting to see Google begin to focus on TV discovery in the US. Our UK VOD discovery/listings service FindMeTV is already in beta at

    The service – a collaboration between the Press Association and technical partner Vizimo – makes finding TV programmes online easy, by bringing together traditional TV schedules with links to VOD content from the major UK broadcasters in one place. Users can search, browse and discover TV shows to watch on TV or online.