Google TV: Not to Worry NY and LA, Not to Worry

November 4, 2008

Update: November 7, 2008 More about Google’s programming activities here. Streaming programs seems like TV to me. If Google sponsors the streamed event, that seems like TV production to me.

Original Post

I don’t want to make a big deal about the business sectors that Google is disrupting. A number of people have independently discovered a decade into watching Google that the company is playing a game of chess with many businesses and business sectors. For the most recent insights about what Google is doing, check out this Silicon Valley insight. A librarian could point out that these tactics were spelled out in a 2005 publication from an outfit in Tetbury, England, but who uses a professional to do research these days. The Internet is the great equalizer for some.

The GOOG has its sights set on television. Now I know the New York and LA TV pros will hoot at this suggestion. To make my assertion even more silly, Google will refuse comment. Unfortunately, Google and TV are pretty easy to calibrate. I am not going to go into detail about the contents of several recent Google patent documents. People tell me that patents are meaningless, describe science fiction technology, and are pretty much a waste of time. No problem. I agree with these assertions. But I’m an addled goose, so I will point out for my own odd brand of amusement the following recent Google patent documents which you can download here:

  • US20080270449, Program Guide User Interface
  • US20080270886, Hiding Portions of Display Content
  • US20080271078, Momentary Electronic Program Guide
  • US20080271080, Customizable Media Channels

Yep, obviously just a couple of Google engineers casually developing a programming interface to a television service. Add to these inventions some of Google’s other science fiction patent documents such as matching an entity wanting a production service and a production service available to create a program and you have little more than coincidence.

The telephony industry dismissed the Google quality of service, I’m feeling doubly lucky, and other Google telephony inventions as meaningless as well. I wonder if the telco executives at the five companies I briefed about a year ago are so confident that Google was unable to have an impact on telephony?

My hunch is that the TV crowd may want to pay a bit more attention to the GOOG. Patents are not casual, nor are they always the output of engineers with too much time on their hands.

Stephen Arnold, November 4, 2008


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