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Google acquires SageTV in likely push to rekindle Google TV

updated 01:05 am EDT, Sun June 19, 2011

Google buys out SageTV

SageTV in a notice to its users said on Saturday that it had been bought out by Google. The open-source home theater software developer said it signed onboard because of a "shared vision for open technology" that would move their Internet-focused experience. They hoped to reach an "even larger audience" on different products, platforms, and services, hinting it wouldn't necessarily be limited to Android.

The takeover has angered some users since it has already pulled its store and most other links aside from the company forums, making it difficult to get a copy of SageTV itself.

Google hasn't commented on what its intentions would be, although most already suspect the company is being bought to improve the struggling Google TV platform. A revival of the platform is already planned with an Android 3.1 upgrade that will give it heavily requested third-party app support along with new hardware from Samsung and Vizio. SageTV's experience in the field, particularly with DVR-like recording, may signal an intent to add recording to Google TV and work it into cable and satellite set-top boxes, not just stand-alone hardware that needs a separate set-top to integrate with regular TV.

While game consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have often been considered the leaders in media hubs just through their ubiquity, the newer Apple TV has often trumped Google TV at stores with over a million sold in its first three months and likely many more since. Its $99 price and emphasis on readily available Internet content have made it a faster seller than the frequently $299-plus Google TV hardware. Logitech, one of the two core Google TV partners, has had to admit falling short of expectations and is counting on the reboot of the platform in the fall to get back in shape.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    After you, Google.

    Apple likes to do this: they wait for a market to heat up, let all the clueless competitors make glaring mistakes in public, then wade into the fray with a superior product. This is what happened in 2001 in the MP3 player market when iPod was released.

    Apple is just biding their time in the connected TV market. The current Apple TV is just a placeholder. There's no need to hurry, since the market isn't terribly big yet. But competitors are already s******* up badly enough to make Apple look good.

    Google copied WebTV and failed. (Horrendous user experience.) Samsung is now selling TVs that run "Yahoo TV widgets." (Minuscule number of very basic apps.) Apple can leverage iOS + iCloud + iTunes + user experience design + massive app store. Just a matter of picking the right time.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I wish there was a universal way to decode encrypted satellite and digital cable. Cablecard was a start, but never made it to my neck of the woods and floundered. It'd be nice if one of these HTPC packages could do everything I want from my TV. Until then, I just don't see the need beyond what AppleTV and my cable provider gives me.

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