Google this: there's a new TV player in town

During its short history Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has gone from being a decent Web search engine to a verb (just Google it) to a partner with Verizon on net neutrality to a player in the TV space in direct competition with cable, satellite and telco service providers.

Since it's had a history of success, the company is envisioning nothing less for TV. "Once you have Google television, you're going to be very busy. It's going to ruin your evening," Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted at the Internationalen Funkausstellung (probably why everyone calls it IFA) conference in Berlin.

Google TV serves as the interface between programming and search. Set to launch on a Sony HDTV and Blu Ray player or as part of a Logitech set-top box, it can also work on an Android-based smartphone. The only thing missing is programming. While there is talk that Google will have access to the same TV content now available to cable operators, much of that material is buried behind walled gardens. For now, it appears that Google's very own YouTube could be the primary content purveyor and that, said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief exec Steven Jobs could be a loser.

According to Jobs, whose company is pushing its own Apple TV service, people want to watch professional programming, "they don't want to watch amateur hour," he said. A cable operator couldn't have said it any better.

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