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Google Files Application to Operate TV Service

The Kansas City Star reports that Google Fiber, a subsidiary of Google, has filed applications in Missouri and Kansas to operate a video/TV service. The news follows reports that Google is currently laying down the foundation of its ultra-fast 1 GB/s broadband connection in the same city, leading to speculation that this new video service -- which may compete with cable companies -- will piggyback Google Fiber.

"We're still exploring what products will be available when we launch Google Fiber," Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres said in an email. The internet service is expected to launch at least in one unspecified neighborhood sometime early this summer, and so far Google hasn't actually stated what types of products it will package with the new Internet connection.

In the Kansas application, Google reportedly said it will "utilize national and regional video headend facilities (programming collection points) to send IPTV (internet-based television) across a private (internet protocol) network to subscribers." The application was filed on Friday with both the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Last year news reports suggested that Google was in talks with Disney, Time Warner and Discovery about distributing their content. There were also claims that Google filed an application with the FCC to establish commercial-scale satellite dishes at a factory in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a place that already plays host to a Google data center. Like cable companies, these could be used as an "antenna farm" which capture video signals and transform them into channels for consumer use.

"The company has also been testing Wi-Fi transmitters from the home that could move data at the same gigabit speeds as its fiber optic cables - suggesting a holistic system for blanketing homes with Internet service 100 to 1,000 times quicker than the U.S. average," the paper reports.

There’s indication that Google's data center in Council Bluffs will become one giant DVR for those Kansas City residents subscribing to Google's TV service. The search engine giant is supposedly working to create a Cloud TV service, replacing DVRs and TiVo set top boxes. Google Fiber can make this happen, as its 1 GB/s speed will make retrieving all that stored video manageable as multiple televisions in hundreds of homes within a single neighborhood stream all that video at the same time.

"We could call this the 'YouTubization' of linear TV," said Bernstein Research in a report. "Expect Google to store (and make available to consumers) the content across all or most TV channels it will provide ... Storing the content of hundreds of TV channels for days, weeks or longer and serving them on-demand to individual users requires large amounts of storage and processing capacity. Of course, this is only possible if homes are connected to the cloud through very high-speed connections."

Would a Google TV service be a welcome addition to your town? For many consumers, an alternative could be a welcome sight, providing a local choice other than Time Warner, Comcast or whomever else is currently monopolizing the local area.

  • nforce4max
    Amazing how things are changing but one must wondering how tyrannical Google will be years from now. Perhaps the next AT&T to sour the digital world.
    Reply
  • I don't know about years from now, but right now I'd pay for Google's cable. Regular cable companies aren't horrible where I'm at; too expensive for what I get. Either expensive basic cable or really expensive cable with 1000s of extra channels I pay for just to get the 3 channels I want...
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    Hopefully better than youtube. It sucks when you are trying to watch something that is not currently popular and it takes forever to buffer in 480i when you have 25Mb internet service...
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    My understanding was that Google will offer 1Gbps service, not 1GBps (e.g. 8Gbps). Typo perhaps?
    Reply
  • smelly_feet
    Is this what will be replacing SageTV? Google aquired (ate) it. I guess they have to plans to rebrand it and decided to kill it off.
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    nforce4maxAmazing how things are changing but one must wondering how tyrannical Google will be years from now. Perhaps the next AT&T to sour the digital world.
    It's more a sign how far behind the US is compared to for example Sweden.
    We have had ip-tv services like this for six years, with Hd for the last couple of years here in Sweden.

    And with some subscriptions you actually get the same type of "program library" (which it is called by Telia, an ISP in Sweden) with TV-on-demand for most programs.
    And you don't have to have gigabit broadband for that. With my 24 down /2.5 up megabit ADSL I still get HDTV on the IPTV subscription.
    This type of IpTV subcription is available to a great majority of the population (perhaps more than 90%), if they want it.

    So nothing new or specatular about this. Just the logical progress that the US haven't experienced yet.
    Reply
  • omega21xx
    agnickolovMy understanding was that Google will offer 1Gbps service, not 1GBps (e.g. 8Gbps). Typo perhaps?Even so, that's the max most routers would support. 1000 lan can finally be used not just for in house file transfers (on a consumer scale) lol
    If the price to have this is reasonable, i'd be getting this for sure. I live in Iowa so it shouldn't be too long before they move their services a state over. :)
    Reply
  • southernshark
    The US cable companies COULD have done this years ago. It has been their choice to overcharge for underperforming tech. I hope Google DESTROYS them.
    Reply
  • Darkk
    southernsharkThe US cable companies COULD have done this years ago. It has been their choice to overcharge for underperforming tech. I hope Google DESTROYS them.
    I don't think that part will happen. Cable companies such as Comcast will have to change their business model to stay in business which they will. I have their high speed internet via cable and it's been great. With NetFlix and HuluPlus really makes me wonder why didn't I ditched CATV long time ago. Satellite and Cable companies are feeling the pinch in CATV in terms of losing subs so rather than abandonded all of that several millions and millions of dollars they spent in their cable infrastructure they will just repurpose it to carry ISP stuff and phase out tradditional CATV services in favor of on-demand TV. This will give us more control to weed out alot of the crap we don't want to watch.

    Competition is a good thing.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    otacon72Google will never be a major player. They would need to invest hundreds of billions in infrastructure to be a major player.
    The world is different nowadays. Maybe they won't need to. Besides, they DO have billions...
    Reply