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Google's Future of Television

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By KSutherland
Words 587
Pages 3
Kayla Sutherland
The Future of Television, According to Google http://www.benton.org/headlines/ In his article, “The Future of Television, According to Google,” Brian Fung discusses Google’s interest in developing an alternative to the traditional cable-set top box. Milo Medin is the vice president of access services at Google. Medin predicts that Android TV, which is Google’s platform for smart televisions, will eventually develop something that allows consumers to avoid having to use current cable boxes. If Google successfully moves ahead with this potential endeavor, Fung says that it will mark another turning point in America’s rapidly changing media landscape. Medin believes that Google, Apple, and Amazon will not be the only companies who will offer their own device that can deliver cable channels. He thinks that there will be a tremendous amount of competition among television manufacturers who will be able to connect their smart televisions directly to cable connections. Medin says that Google has no immediate plans to develop a cable box, but because of a government proposal to crack open the market for set-top boxes, Google has gained interested in this market. Fung states, “The Federal Communications Commission's forthcoming plan would force cable companies to relinquish some control over how cable content is displayed on your TV.” This plan would allow third parties such as Google and Apple to access that content and design new ways to interact with it. Google would also view a new opportunity if the FCC’s proposal were approved. They would get the chance to gather more data on consumers. According to Gung, if Google were to produce its own set-top box, it would gain a new level of visibility into how TV viewers behave. Google would view what shows they search for, what they decide to watch, when they watch it, and how they watch it. Regulators have however suggested that a limit be placed on what new cable-box makers can do with the personal information they collect. For example, companies might be subjected to obligations similar to the ones that already govern the cable industry's use of consumer data. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a recent interview that such rules would help protect consumer privacy and prevent personal information from being abused. I believe that Google would be very successful in this market. Like Gung said in his article, it would mark another turning point for America's rapidly changing media landscape. Providers such as Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon Fios, and Direct TV would all be affected if third-party companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon were given the same access to content. There is already competition amongst the top providers so the inclusion of third-party companies would only increase the competition. I think that consumers would benefit the most from this competition because lower prices would be established amongst companies. Fung states, “Baking the cable box's functionality directly into a television could even kill off the set-top box entirely.” I agree with this statement because consumers would find tremendous convenience in having the functionality of cable boxes built into their televisions. As media landscapes evolve, it is evident that the convenience for consumers plays a major role. Technology has spoiled our society into having things dropped right into our hands. One device now has the capability of doing things that multiple devices were once used for. Smart televisions have already been placed on this list of devices, but televisions being built with cable-box functionalities would place much higher.…...

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