Monday, October 25, 2010

The Fight Over Google TV

In an important sense, it’s a fight over the future relationship between the internet and the big set in the home. Google is not the first company to try to bring Web video to the TV. Microsoft Media Center can do it, as can Boxee (an Israeli-US startup). Netflix and Apple TV it stream TV shows and movies, but typically for rental or YouTube, though the forthcoming Apple AirPlay will be able to stream all web video into the TV.

Google’s notion, more sophisticated, is to organize the web choices and present them to you via a search engine. That has the networks (typically the content owners) and cable firms particularly concerned. They have been trying to stop Boxee for a number of years. Google has more clout than Boxee but is still boxed in by some forces, at least for now. But Time Warner, which has been trying to put its programming behind paywalls everywhere (and has spun off its cable firm), sees Google TV as an opportunity.

From Jessica Vascellero, "Time Warner Sees Ally in Web," Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2010.

Sam Schechner and Amir Efrati, "Networks Block Web Programs From Being Viewed on Google TV," Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2010.

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