updated 09:55 am EDT, Fri March 26, 2010
Google TV set-top may be secondary device
Google's increasingly rumored Google TV media hub may be consciously designed to avoid frightening cable and satellite providers if a new leak bears fruit. Rather than serve as a complete replacement for a TV set-top box, it would have its own HDMI input and daisy-chain from an existing piece of equipment. The Android device would take information from the TV provider's own device but would be marketed as a way of bringing the Internet and apps to an existing setup that could carry a subscription premium.
The approach would be a careful but potentially necessary balance for Google, which VideoNuze claimed is very aware of likely opposition from traditional TV. Especially through the use of the Chrome browser, Google TV could let users watch a large amount of TV networks' video for free and encourage them to scale down their channel packages or realize they could cancel cable or satellite entirely.
Google is contemplating a $299 price for its device if carrier resistance is strong enough that it has to sell the device in retail like a TiVo DVR, but its testing with Dish Network alludes to there being at least one candidate service.
The approach would be a very different one from devices like the Apple TV or Roku Internet Player, either of which is potentially a full-fledged replacement for regular TV. However, Google would likely view its own hardware as only a vehicle to help display ads and generate revenue from those rather focus solely on the content. It would face a probable block by Hulu as the Internet video host would try to steer clear of reprisals by cable networks.