Google Acquires SageTV for Android or for the Future of Google TV?

June 19, 2011
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    Looks like the big G is throwing it’s wallet around, and on a Father’s Day at that! Sage TV announced via a small note on their homepage, and through a quick tweet, that they have been acquired by Google. Why is this at all significant, and why should you care? SageTV is a software company that has immense experience in the “Smart TV” space, and has significant amounts of their technology based in Java. While at this point we can’t be entirely sure what Google intends to do with SageTV, we do know that this acquisition underscores Google’s commitment to making media in and around the living room a big deal.

    We already saw Google make tons of TV-related announcements at Google I/O 2011, and with SageTV under its wing, it looks better positioned to compete in this space. As we mentioned earlier, a significant amount of SageTV’s technology has been written in Java, which we know plays very nice with Android. Certainly, it’s not impossible to imagine Google using SageTV’s Java-based technologies, coupled with the growing Android environment, to create a truly immersive, device independent, Google TV experience.

    If anything, Google’s actions bespeak its intentions; they are even more serious about the set-top market than many others were lead to believe. Imagine the possibilities – if a future Google TV would function with your TV provider’s network or existing set-top box, it would certainly become the next TV set top box to have.

    We’re thrilled to announce that SageTV has been acquired by Google.

    Since 2002, we’ve worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it’s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services.

    We’ve seen how Google’s developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email:
    sagetv-dev@google.com

    Full speed ahead!

    The SageTV Team

    Any thoughts? You know there are a lot of companies seeking to dominate the so-called idea of “digital convergence”. Let’s see how this plays out.

    Comments

    • Steve S.

      As a Sage user, this is nothing but bad news. All Sage users are now orphaned, both with hardware and software. Google wants to do the exact opposite that Sage users do – have a server in-house to record OTA and DRM-Free HD content and watch DVD’s from a central server to small, inexpensive set-top boxes.

      How do people expect “The Cloud” to exist for free, let alone for the current ISP infrastructure to handle multiple HD streams into all the homes they serve? They can’t handle it. It’s not the ISP’s fault per se. Their infrastructure was not designed for this. My cable company’s coax has an absolute maximum it can handle. Fiber build-out is slow, encumbered by geography and local ordinance, and very expensive.

      I think you would need 60-100Mb/s minimum speeds to handle “the Cloud” and you would need QoS control on that as well. I have 60Mb/s internet that might fall to half that at night. I can tell when my son is watching a single Netflix stream. My in-laws have 5 Mb/s down. That won’t handle a single HD stream at any sort of quality. How is a family of 4 going to handle some downloading, gaming, surfing, and HD on 3 TV’s without stuttering and jerking pictures and slow-response surfing or gaming? It’s not. It’s just than simple, especially when whole neighborhoods start doing this all at once.

      Google and these other companies think they can convince consumers that bandwidth is cheap and plentiful. It is not. ISP’s are already well into doing what AT&T did when they found out – surprise – that iPhone users wanted to do more than make calls. They capped usage, throttled speeds, and started charging so much per MB or GB over a certain amount. As I understand it, for example, even U-Verse will only let you have 1 main U-Verse box per house because it is IPTV, and where you can get it in our area, the internet they offer on top of that maxes at 25Mb/s. So we already know FOR A FACT that cloud-based HD streaming is, essentially, capped, since that is what U-Verse basically is. And that’s tightly-controlled, modulated, compressed video sent out by AT&T. Not a bunch of people tuning into all the different HD and music services and uploading and downloading from “The Cloud” at will.

      People have been fooled into thinking “The Cloud” will free them for, well, free (or very little more). It won’t.

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