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Google, Dish testing Android-based satellite boxes

updated 05:05 pm EST, Mon March 8, 2010

Dish Android TV boxes would support YouTube

Dish and Google are teaming up on Android-based video hubs that would support Internet video as well as satellite, a leak from within the partnership reveals. A trial has reportedly been underway since late last year that would use Android to not only find Dish programming but also YouTube and other web videos. WSJ's contacts suggest the set-top box would allow a custom playlist of shows and support using a keyboard, not just a remote, to run searches.

The long-term goal for Google would be to integrate its ad service into TV, targeting ads at not just web viewing habits but also traditional TV service. Dish's benefits aren't explicitly stated but would likely stem from having Internet content on DVRs or other devices as well as the marketing appeal of a Google-sanctioned service.

It's not clear how likely the service is to deploy: the current test is so far limited to a small number of Google employees and doesn't have a guaranteed end date. As such, the trial could be shut down and the project scrapped. Neither Dish nor Google has agreed to comment on the accuracy of the claims.

The development would be a first for the industry, which seldom uses stock operating systems and often create wholly proprietary, closed platforms. Dish would need to add custom apps and possibly modify Android itself to support a DVR, but it would give considerably more control over the features to providers like Dish and possibly to subscribers as well.

by MacNN Staff



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