Google is reportedly working with Intel and Sony on the extension of its Android smartphone operating system into the set-top box environment.
According to the New York Times, the connected TV play is planning to deliver a toolkit to external developers that it hopes will develop a similar enthusiasm as has been seen with mobile phones. The three companies, which have denied their involvement, have approached Logitech to develop peripherals that include a remote control and keyboard.
Google would be entering a crowded market that already plays host to cable, satellite and IPTV operators, television manufacturers including those running Yahoo widgets, Apple, TiVo and Boxee.
The idea of opening up an operating system to third party developers is nothing new, other middleware platforms, such as those operated by Microsoft, Dreampark and ANT, already allow external contributions.
Separately, Microsoft has declared its support for HTML-5, significant because the new web standard includes support for a rival video format to Adobe Flash, used by popular video sites including YouTube.
The development of HTML-5 is being keenly watched by middleware providers that are themselves looking to incorporate it into IPTV and cable boxes.