[mythtv-users] Google Fiber TV

Joseph Fry joe at thefrys.com
Fri Jul 27 17:54:58 UTC 2012

>  http://www.theverge.com/2012/**7/26/3188845/google-fiber-tv<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
> (https://plus.google.com/**106418316475648112522/posts/**7NLbtpJUdvC<https://plus.google.com/106418316475648112522/posts/7NLbtpJUdvC>
> )
> 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.

Very interesting and informative... thank you!

As much as many people like to bash google for their apparent goal to know
you better than you know yourself, I do have to say that they have been one
of the most outspoken (and actually listened to) corporations who believe
in allowing users to use media/data without restrictions.  When cellphone
vendors all wanted to restrict the user, Google has pushed for eliminating
as many of those restrictions as possible.  When it seemed that every major
music player was trying to tie you to their proprietary software and store
to buy music, Google went the other way.

I am confident that Google will push the networks to the limits of what
they are comfortable with to offer users as much flexibility as possible
with this system.  Unfortunately I don't believe that the networks are
going to budge an inch and either Google will cave and release something
too restrictive, or they will eventually decide that this was an expensive
experiment and scrap the whole thing.

Only time will tell.
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