Google Buys Beloved HTPC Software SageTV, Google TV Upgrade Likely Following

Sections: Distributed video, HTPC, Streaming, TVs, Video

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Last week, Google quietly acquired SageTV, who for the better part of a decade has been writing multiplatform software to run people’s HTPCs.

“[A]s the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it’s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well,” said SageTV in a statement. “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.”

If I had to guess, Google has figured out that the current Google TV box isn’t really what most people are looking for, and that the real money is in the ever-expanding Smart TV and the lucrative cable box cloud marketplace. Cable box and DVR services are moving toward a central distribution point server in the house, with apps on televisions, Blu-ray players, game consoles, or just small receiver boxes acting as the point of interface. Hard drives are going the way of the dodo as they’re an expensive piece at manufacture and prone to failure. SageTV can provide a ready-made, tested, and well-loved platform to give their box purpose that can be ported and put into production quickly and let Google try to snag the contracts for these new kinds of boxes from more traditional manufacturers like Motorola or Scientific Atlanta. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try to make a big splash with Google TV 2.0 at next year’s CES.

Via: [Yahoo]

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  • Steve S.

    This article is just plain wrong.

    First, "The Cloud" is a joke. No ISP plant out there could keep up with whole neighborhoods streaming multiple HD content into their homes at the same time, even if they offered 60+ Mb/s to 100Mb/s speeds. I have 60Mb/s and can tell when my son is watching one Netflix stream early in the morning when few others are online. The writ small version of this occurred with AT&T found out that, surprise, iPhone users wanted to do more with their phone than talk on them… Cell providers use caps, throttling, and GB purchase increments. ISP's are beginning to do the same.

    Second, as a computer user since the late 70's and a hard drive user since 1985, I can tell you for a fact that hard drives, except the cheapest of the cheap, have done nothing but go up in reliability and down in price. I have hard drives I have run for over 5 years and they still pass surface scans and the like. Barring an absolute miracle, hard drives are not going anywhere. MLC flash could never last more than maybe a year, if that, recording relatively non-compressible things like video and audio streams. If you are lucky, flash is $2 per GB for the el cheapo consumer MLC stuff. A enterprise grade platter hard drive is more like 12.5 cents per GB, tops. A decent prosumer platter drive is in the area of 5 cents per GB. Also, power consumption has fallen on these as well. Laptop drives, more than adequate for multiple HD streams, use less than 3 watts at full working draw.

    People think "The Cloud" will be cheap, fast, and available. It's not, and it won't be without a massive, highly subsidized build-out that could take 10+ years to accomplish. One look at how U-Verse and FIOS build-outs have slowed ought to tell you something about how soon we will have "The Cloud" for Gargle and its ilk to sponge off of.