In case you forgot, a little over a year ago Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility is a spin-off company of Motorola which has two divisions: Mobile Devices which makes phones and Home which makes set-top-boxes and cable modems.
When the purchase was first announced, it sounded like a dream come true for the Google TV division. Google could have powered millions of set-top boxes with Google TV, but they did not. Now the word on the street is that Google is planning to sell off the set-top-box portion of Motorola Mobility for roughly $2 billion.
Motorola is declining to comment at this time, so this is entirely speculation at this point. We’ll keep you updated as more news becomes available.
Google has announced that they are licensing Rovi’s program guide patents to power the set-top boxes for the recently announced Google Fiber high-speed Internet and TV service. Google Fiber will debut in Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas) and will offer download speeds of 1 Gbps and over 130 HDTV channels. Samir Armaly, Rovi’s EVP, Worldwide Intellectual Property & Licensing, had the following to say about the new partnership:
“Our agreement with Google continues the growth and relevance of our patent licensing program for not only traditional platforms, but also new media experiences across multiple screens. We are pleased that the relevance of our intellectual property in this space continues to be recognized by leading companies such as Google.”
It is not yet known if any elements of the Google TV operating system will be incorporated into the set-top boxes powering the TV side of Google Fiber. Continue after the break for the full press release.
Last week we told you that Google was planning to formally announce its Google Fiber service on July 26th. The day has finally arrived, and as expected the search giant has announced its first foray into the high-speed network arena.
Google Fiber will debut in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas, and will offer download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. This is a staggering number to say the least, but what is also fascinating about Google Fiber is the announcement of a TV service as well.
When Sony first announced its NSZ-GS7 Google TV set top box, the spec sheets indicated that it would support OnLive’s streaming game service. However, Sony is now changing its tune. A company rep recently told VentureBeat that the device would no longer support OnLive’s service.
The news comes shortly after Sony announced its acquisition of Gaikai, an open cloud gaming platform. Despite the statement from Sony, there is still some confusion as to whether or not the Google TV device supports OnLive. According to VentureBeat, OnLive claims there has been no change and that the device still supports their service because it is universally supported by the Google TV operating system.
It is possible that Sony will block the use of OnLive on their specific device due to the Gaikai acquisition, but there is currently no evidence to support this. All that remains is that, for the time being at least, OnLive is currently unusable on Sony’s NSZ-GS7 Google TV set top box.
[via The Verge]
Comcast is currently testing a new set-top box featuring DVR services, search capabilities, and what they’re calling “limited” web functionality. This new box will give users access to social media, as well as a limited number of online video.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this new box will allow users to search for a “smattering of Web video” and supports “some basic connections to social networks to comment on television shows.” It is really unclear at this point how the new box will stand up against Google TV, but something tells me this web access will be pretty limited. Also, there is no word yet about a release date, or even a beta testing period. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
[via PC World]
A new startup called Snapstick is looking to take on Google TV and other Internet TV solutions with their new product which lets you “snap” video content from your phone to your TV. The software is still in early beta form, but it pretty much works like this: A small set-top box device is connected to the TV (although they’re not marketing it as a STB, more on that later), which is responsible for actually streaming the content to your TV. Your mobile device becomes the controller, where you navigate to whatever you want to watch (YouTube, Hulu, whatever), and once you find what you want to watch on your TV, you flick or snap your phone towards the device which will then push the content to your TV.
Snapstick is really plugging their software, which they feel is the key to all of this. Ultimately they hope to license this software to STB manufacturers, which would forgo them having to actually manufacturer any hardware themselves. I’ll admit, the concept is pretty interesting, and if whatever it gets built into can be made unblockable by Hulu and the major networks, I could see this becoming somewhat of a contender in the ITV arena. Again, this is pretty early beta type stuff, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one. Continue after the break to watch a brief video demo from Snapstick.
In a video posted on the official Logitech blog, Senior product marketing manager Rajiv Bansal goes over what he feels are the key selling points of the Revue. He discusses the Revue’s ability to allow customers to access their favorite content from across their cable or satellite provider’s hardware, as well as all the content online.
Continue reading after the break to watch the video.
Source: Yahoo News
Chris Camilletti, a desktop product manager at Dell, said Thursday that the company is currently investigating the connected TV market. They are interested in set-top-box prototypes that could seamlessly bring the internet to television.
Although they have yet to announce a product officially, he did mention that Google TV software was being considered. Though at the moment Dell is producing TV compatible computers, it seems likely that the company will be breaking into the streaming television market in much the same way as Sony and Samsung. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this.
D-Link and Boxee are now taking pre-orders for their latest iteration of the Boxee Box. Shipments are slated for November 2010 with an expected “street price” of $199.
The release delays we mentioned back in July were at least partially due to a switch in processors. The originally intended NVIDIA Tegra 2 has been replaced by Intel’s CE4100, the same chip used in Google TV. According to Avner Ronen, founder of Boxee, this decision was credited to internal testing that proved faster decoding rates between formats.
We’ve talked about ARM before, and how a partnership with Google for a set-top-box would make a ton of sense for both parties involved. ARM would have brought a low-cost, yet powerful chip with the Cortex-A9, and Google would have provided the Google TV platform.
Well, ARM has apparently decided they don’t need Google, and have announced an Internet-enabled set-top-box of their own. They have also been in talks with Adobe in regards to optimizing Flash for this platform. You can read a list of other specifications that will be going into this set-top-box.
- Qt, which runs on the Trident STB platform, provides a consistent user experience from mobile to home. Qt includes browser and widgets functionalities which run on top of QtWebKit, and extensive performance optimization work has been done for Qt running on ARM architectures.
- Qt is also the development framework for MeeGo and the ARM partnership has already done significant work on this platform around the ARM Cortex-A9 processor.
- Core runtime and plug in components that power the Adobe Flash platform for the digital home have been optimized for the ARM Cortex-A9, including ActionScript 3.0 JIT.
- HTML5, a new Web 2.0 standard that incorporates features like video playback, has also been optimised for ARM and will be key for next generation Web type services.
- The Google Android operating system, designed for the ARM architecture and including an ARM Native Development Kit (NDK), ARM targeted JIT as part of the Dalvik Java application framework and support for the Adobe Flash Player 10.1 web plugin.
- Linaro, a not-for profit company, focuses on the lower software layers and provides the best tools and Linux development experience on ARM, quickening the time to market for Linux based distributions.
Tony Francesca, SVP and GM of the Trident Micro STB business unit, an ARM business partner, had the following to say:
“By combining an industry-leading STB platform with the powerful Cortex-A series of processors, Trident and ARM bring the web-based runtime and user interface technologies traditionally found on PCs and mobile phones into the home entertainment system,“
Details at this point are very limited, but stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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