While everybody was celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, SageTV quietly got a new daddy: Google. For those of you who don’t know, SageTV is a company best known for its HTPC application, SageTV Media Center for Mac OS, Windows and Linux.
It’s safe to assume Google acquired SageTV’s staff and technology to improve Google TV. But what exactly will the SageTV team be working on inside Google? SageTV Media Center offers a handful of features from which Google TV could benefit. Like DVR functionality and DVB support. However, I (and NewTeeVee) don’t think these features are the reason Google acquired SageTV. Instead, Google seems to be going after the company’s place-shifting technology.
Place-shifting (aka what Slingbox does) allows you to watch live or recorded TV programming from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Google TV already has access to your TV live feed, but it doesn’t do anything with it other than make it easily searchable. That could very well change if Google adds place-shifting to Google TV.
With this feature in place, your Google TV device will allow you to watch your home TV programming from any device that has an Internet connection. For desktop computers, Google could very well build a web app that lets you watch your TV feed. Also, we can expect Android phones and tablets to support this feature as well, either natively on Ice Cream Sandwich or via an app.
But what about other platforms like iOS or Windows Phone? Google could go with either one of the following two approaches: Build it exclusively for Android and make the platform more appealing to consumers, much like they did with Google Maps’ free GPS navigation feature. Or go with an everywhere strategy and build apps for iOS and Windows Phone as well. Whatever they do, we’re sure to find out more later this year.
Will place-shifting make Google TV more enticing to you? Do you want Google to keep it on the Android world, or show some love for other platforms as well? Let us know in the comments.