This is all really cool with Google and Dish Network! I agree about the whole keyboard use thing, I don’t know how that will be excepted.
As the Internet continues to make its way into our lives, it’s only natural that Google is also making inroads into your living room as well.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Inc. is working on a project with DISH Network regarding the operation of a set top box. Just what the set top box would actually do remains a mystery, nevertheless the secret project is underway and the public may never see it.
Google has stated that the project may be “discontinued at any time.”
Since the box project is housed at Google and not DISH Network, assumptions have been made that the –hopefully– Internet-ready device would pick up WI-FI signals and run on Google’s operating system Android. Combined with a version of their browser Chrome, the box would allow users search functionality for shows through the use of a keyboard.
Streaming content may also be a feature since Google-Owned YouTube is readily available on countless Blu-ray players and other devices.
The big question: what’s in it for Google and what’s in it for DISH Network? For Google, the search giant will be making more strides to grow an already huge customer base for its mammoth advertising scheme via its “nascent TV ad-brokering business.” That’s great news for advertisers.
A major problem for Madison Avenue is how to get their products in front of DVR-using audiences who routinely bypass ads. With the Google box, ads may be played in its guide or every “white space” that may be shown through its GUI.
For DISH, having a set top box capable of Android-based Google goodness opens a realm of possibilities for Internet applications with third party developers continuing to make apps for the OS. Also, if viewers like the features of a proposed Google box but hate the ads, I’m willing to bet a premium package will be offered to consumers for a price.
DISH Network could also be looking for more opportunities to enhance its boxes on the heels of their long-running court battle with Tivo regarding their DVR functionality. A case Tivo ultimately won, which may impact millions of DISH DVR users.
Personally, I’m not sure how appetizing a set top box that forces users to use a keyboard is. Will consumers go ga-ga for keyword searches? The guide on DirecTV and DISH Network works great along with online DVR programming. Similar to Tivo’s existing functionality of actor searches, perhaps Google’s DISH box might offer a superior version. I’d rather see a set up similar to Roku with Netflix streaming, Amazon purchases and Pandora’s custom music stations.
But, like all of us, we’ll have to wait and see.