It is not so much a battle for hearts and minds as one for middleware and navigation. Google’s announcement that it has created a version of its Android operating system for the TV has been followed up by news that Rovi intends to bring its TotalGuide navigation solution to the party.
Rovi has confirmed that it has been in discussions with Google regarding Google TV and that it has been talking with other manufacturers about their implementations for the platform.
Rival TiVo has also been linked with Google TV, though it remains possible that there may be a place for both of them. Cable operators in the United States and Europe see TiVo as both middleware and content navigation system. Virgin Media for one planning to use TiVo as part of a hybrid solution that will combine both linear with IP-delivered content. Many operators are already linked to Rovi through a series of licensing agreements that commenced under the intellectual rights holder’s previous guise of Macrovision.
However, existing middlewares such as MediaHighway should not be discounted. The NDS system was recently confirmed as an integral part of the new UPC/Liberty Global Home Gateway and the technology provider has a series of agreements with content discovery companies in place.
In a statement, Rovi described the Google announcement as another milestone in the developing Internet TV market. The company has an extensive metadata business, including the supply of information to the Apple iTunes platform, one of the existing platforms said to be targeted by the new Google TV.