Merging television and the internet is not a new idea, but Google's partnership with Dish Network could be a step toward bringing the concept into the mainstream. Google is testing a new search service that digs through television programming and web video services.
Mashable tempers expectations by reminding us that Google has already ventured into television once with little success. Google's TV Ads platform, which Business Week describes as a "self-service, auction-based system for advertisers," has stumbled over technological challenges. But Google is learning from its past efforts and others in the market: the search does not require purchase of any new hardware. Instead, by collaborating with providers like Dish Network, the set-tops can run with Google's Android-based technology, which makes instant upgrades a possibility.
Christopher Dawson at ZDNet expresses the draw to a Google search engine for TV when he comments "I have to say that I'd much prefer to type in a query and get search results in familiar Google form (with both web and satellite content integrated) than make my way through 200 channels of DirecTV programming guide."
Producing a list of results that mixes traditionally televised content with online media could have interesting implications. Will viewers turn their discerning eyes away from web-produced materials like Hulu's original series "If I Can Dream" in favor of broadcast television's reality shows? The relationships between these different content producers is already strained, as demonstrated by Comedy Central's decision to remove its programming from Hulu's service.
The Google and Dish Network search testing is limited to a small, private test audience, according to the Wall Street Journal. No forecasts have been made for broader testing or a public release.