Motorola makes set-top boxes for a lot of pay TV companies. They’re one of the leaders, in fact. Google is reeling from the initial failure of Google TV. With Motorola in hand, will Google TV finally succeed?
GigaOm’s Ryan Lawler and Ryan Kim believe that the Motorola purchase could help turn Google TV into a major player among set-top boxes if they stop focusing on consumer sales and start peddling their product through the cable operators. The point to the fact that Motorola generated more revenue through set-top box sales than anyone else. It’s hard to disagree.
Google TV wasn’t bad. In fact it was quite good. It offered a slick UI that revealed a narrow glimpse at TV’s future. The problem was that it wasn’t fully realised. It wasn’t necessary or essential. Google expected people to pay $US300 for a box with a UI and a search engine for web videos. It didn’t support CableCard. It didn’t record TV. It provided little substantial content of its own and apps were lacking. Most significantly, it was another piece of hardware. I have trouble believing the average consumer was excited about the prospect of running their cable box through another box for little added benefit.
Now that Motorola is in their stable, Google can put that market power to good use. If Google TV is integrated into a box with tuner and DVR, who wouldn’t opt for that? Google is a recognisable name. The UI is solid, and will likely get better. And UIs on set-top boxes now are generally terrible. There’s a need waiting to be filled.
In yesterday’s conference call, Google went out of their way to touch on set-top boxes and say that the way we receive content on our TVs and content on our mobile devices is converging. A betting man would interpret that statement as Google wanting to infiltrate the cable companies so that they can beat Apple to jumpstarting the App revolution in the living room. [GigaOm]