Motorola and the set top box ; Google shifts innovation theory to consumer electronics

Thoughts about television can relate to the news about Google. It appears that Motorola make set top boxes as well as mobile devices. Since I don't go out as much as I used to, a television screen is about the right size to keep my attention. I guess the new TVs will include some features of desktop computers such as social media.

Mike Murphy writes in the Good Morning Silicon Valley blog that Google’s entrance into the cable TV industry is "not to get lost in the deal".

Motorola is one of the primary makers (along with Cisco) of cable set-top boxes. After a lukewarm reception to GoogleTV last year, Google now gets a foot into tens of millions of living rooms. Google also starts a relationship with cable providers, which potentially could ease the way into providing content to cable subscribers through its streaming video arm, YouTube. Forbes blogger Chunka Mui takes it a step further, offering the possibility that Google is well on its way to blowing up the established models for TV and phone service.

Chunka Mui suggests that Google may also buy Sprint and offer a combination of "unlimited voice, video and data solution, including WiFi, 4G, and state-of-the art Android smartphones and tablets....." No mention of television here but Mui observes-

Such an offering would destroy the fiction that internet, cellular and cable TV are separate, overlapping industries. In reality, they are now all just applications riding on top of the same platform. It is just that innovation has been slowed because two slices of those applications, phone and TV, are controlled by aging oligopolies.

Details on this sort of scenario may not be clear till the Consumer Electronics show in the new year. So far Google TV has been a lot less than expected. Eric Schmidt is speaking in Edinburgh soon so he may get some questions.

Consumer electronics becomes the centre of most media. Previously I have been thinking of the university campus as a source of innovation but I think in the UK that the high street is more involved in devices for sound and video. There probably is some academic theory behind it all but I'm not sure where it is. Hard to tell in the UK or even Europe.