GoogleTV‘s biggest drawback, and an initial source of confusion, given the desire to capture “Input 1” has been its lack of DVR capabilities. And it appears Google is prepared to address that shortcoming via their just announced acquisition of SageTV, the makers of HTPC DVR software and CE extenders. As announced on the updated SageTV site:
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.
Many existing SageTV customers appear rightfully apprehensive about the acquisition. Perhaps exacerbated by the immediate shuttering of the SageTV storefront and excision of all website product info. However, the Sage team is fired up – and who can blame them? I’m hopeful they and Google will do the right thing by keeping the guide data flowing for the HTPC userbase. However, I suspect SageTV as a brand will cease to exist as Google immediately puts their new employees to work porting DVR concepts and code to various Android platforms. And it may not be as difficult as you imagine given Sage’s work on those aforementioned extender devices… which are Linux-based, running embedded Java (according to SageTV guru Brent Evans). Both Google and the landscape are different, so I expect this relationship to bear fruit in a way Yahoo’s acquisition of Meedio never did.