Google has acquired SageTV, the company behind SageTV Media Center. The commercial digital video recording (DVR) software, which requires that the host PC have a hardware based TV tuner card, is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Details of the deal, such as how much Google is paying for the 8-year-old company, were not disclosed.
The SageTV software has an integrated Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) that is updated via the Internet. The program provides a television interface for DVR, music, and photos on Windows and Linux. SageTV Media Center records in standard MPEG2, but also has a built-in conversion feature to transcode files into other formats compatible with iPod, PSP, cell phones, and other portable devices.
As we've reported earlier, Google's partners are having trouble pushing Google TV because many consumers are finding the platform too complicated to use. It also doesn't help that many TV networks are blocking Google TV in the US.
Google is planning to update Google TV with Android 3.1 (codenamed Honeycomb). For consumers, this means that the Android Market is coming to a TV near you. For developers, this means being able to use one SDK to ship apps that work both on Android tablets and on Google TV devices. The search giant is hoping that the promise of being able to download and install Android apps will give the platform new life. Existing Google TV devices will be getting Android 3.1 as an OTA update sometime this summer. It's not yet clear if some form of SageTV's technologies will be included in this update 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," a SageTV spokesperson said in a statement. "We've seen how Google's developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don't have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email firstname.lastname@example.org."
"The SageTV team has developed the latest in media management software, and we look forward to working with them to take this technology to the next level," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.