Vincent Dureau Heads to Google, Is Google Building a PVR?
April last year the PVR space was buzzing with speculation that Google was talking to TiVo. In an article titled “Search Giants Court TiVo” CNET claimed that they had multiple sources who confirmed that talks had gone on between TiVo and Google. TiVo and Google both declined comment of course. Then we had speculation out from Garrett Rogers late last year that Google was working on a PVR. Rogers had speculated in part based on the registration of both GoogleTV and GoogleHDTV domain names. Further speculation took place based on a Google job opening for a project manager for GoogleTV that was subsequently pulled. Today though there is another job posting for multiple software developers in the TV space.
And then of course you have rumors from Robert Young, writing for GigaOm, just last month that Google has been down in Hollywood trying to “secure exclusive distribution rights to films and TV.” Now on the one hand, today’s announced MTV partnership might be all that this type of thing is, a way to get rights to host video content on to blogger’s blogs. Adsense and all.
What is probably the most interesting development with regards to GoogleTV is that San Francisco based OpenTV announced last week that CTO Vincent Dureau was leaving OpenTV and heading to Google. Last year Davis Freeberg and I interviewed Marc McCarthy and Wesley Hoffman from OpenTV and they are working on some of the most interesting things in time shifting television around. And to have their seniormost technology lead head down to Mountain View, well this combined with the other speculation makes one wonder if Google isn’t actually working on something a heck of a lot larger.
Certainly a Google PVR would make sense. It would make sense to push distribution beyond the computer screen and into your living room for Google from an advertising perspective and it would also likely give them a key advantage over YouTube in the video sharing space. An ideal PVR that both recorded mainstream TV *and* was used to promote the best of Google Video content could be a very hot ticket inded.