Google buys out SageTV to beef up its TV network

MUMBAI: In a move to beef up Google TV, Google has acquired for an undisclosed amount SageTV, an Inglewood-based company that deals in both DVR technology and streaming-video software for PCs running Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple Mac OS X.

Announcing the acquisition, SageTV said in a statement, "Since 2002, we‘ve worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it‘s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services."

Though Google hasn‘t spelt out as to what exactly it plans to do with SageTV nor has it given details about the acquisition, a Google spokeswoman said that the company was looking forward to taking SageTV‘s media management software and technology "to the next level."

So far Google TV has failed to catch on with consumers, and it hasn‘t met with much excitement from developers, TV makers or networks either. The deal is likely to improve Google TV‘s software that allows users to search and find video in their TV listings, DVRs and from the Internet, including sites such as Google-owned YouTube.

One item SageTV offers that Google TV doesn‘t yet have is the company‘s Placeshifter software, which lets users watch TV (live or recorded to a DVR) over a high-speed internet connection on another screen (such as a laptop or a second TV set). Placeshifter is a similar product to the more-popular Slingbox and SlingPlayer software from Sling Media, which streams video to TVs, computers and even the Apple iPad.


Sling Media is building a version of SlingPlayer for Google TV and other Internet-connected TVs, but Placeshifter could allow Google to build in such functionality without having to rely on outside companies.

Rakesh Agrawal, who founded and runs SnapStream, which at one-time competed with SageTV and is now a TV-search challenger to Google TV, said in a blog post that he thought the purchase could be a step toward adding native DVR features.

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