[mythtv-users] Google Fiber TV

Andrew Gallatin gallatin at cs.duke.edu
Fri Jul 27 14:46:35 UTC 2012

On 07/26/12 20:55, Larry K wrote:
> http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/26/3188845/google-fiber-tv
> New competition for Myth?  Thoughts?

Google Fiber TV is the evolution of SageTV. SageTV was bought by
Google a little over a year ago.  The SageTV founder and CEO (Jeffrey
Kardatzke) confirmed yesterday that SageTV is the core of the Google
Fiber TV

SageTV was a commercial cross-platform, client/server Java PVR with
JNI interfaces for dealing with tuners.  Then sold server (backend)
software for Windows, OSX, and Linux.  You could either run the client
(frontend) on the same machine, another PC, or on their Sigma designs
based thin client media extender (HD100 / HD200 / HD300).  The media
extenders gave perfect HD playback including de-interlacing, native
output resolution / frame-rate switching, and the ability to play BD
rips, all in 15w (HD100) and down to 7w (HD300) at the end.

To me, the Google Fiber setup sounds like the SageTV server running on
a headless server with 2TB of storage, and (probably) IPTV tuning.
Their "TV" box sounds like a new generation HDx00 media extender.
 From the presentation, even some of the terms are still recognizable,
though the GUI is rather different (probably lots of UX experts and
focus groups).

The interesting thing here is that SageTV was very open for a
commercial product.  They took a stand against DRM and chose not to
license DRM (for cable card).  They had a thriving 3rd party plugin
ecosystem.  I wonder how much of that openness has been retained.  For
example, SageTV did not ship with commercial flagging / skipping, but
one of the most popular plugins was for commercial skipping.  There
are TV/Movie meta-data scraping (BMT) & fan-art plugins (pheonix),
You could re-skin the entire UI if you wanted to (similar to
MythTV themes).

It would be really interesting to know how Google Fiber TV is
"broadcast", and if it is just IP multicast.  Given what I know about
SageTV, I suspect that it is.  If so, MythTV could fit right in.
But, depending on how much openness was stripped SageTV, GoogleFiber
TV might keep even most MythtTV users happy.


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