A content hosting system that allows providers to create video content channels stored in a marketplace where consumers can search and browse free content or pay for the right to view premium content supports the basis for Google Patent No. 20110321072. It gives me a glimmer of hope that Google TV and other Internet TV services will survive and bring back what the older generation knows as basic free TV supported by ads.
In the patent application updated on Dec. 29, Google's ranking system allows companies supporting channels to compete for consumer subscriptions. Providers can monitor channel performance by analyzing rankings and use statistics to gain better performance. The system operator can create bundled channels containing videos from multiple providers, and the resulting subscription revenue can be distributed to the various providers of the videos in the channel.
The patent's inventors point to other online content hosting services -- YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu –- as examples of companies providing similar online video viewing experiences.
In November, Google updated this patent application titled Television Related Searching: "A computer-implemented method that includes identifying metadata related to television programming being presented on a display device. The method further includes extracting one or more keywords from the metadata. The method further includes generating multiple search suggestions based on the keywords and first search results based on one or more of the search suggestions. The method further includes presenting the search suggestions and the first search results together on the display device."
Voice commands will also become more prevalent, since people are more likely to interact with smartphones, digital video recorders and televisions with spoken words. Apple's Siri made this popular, but Google and Microsoft have also been working to perfect the technology. Google Patent No. 20110313775 describes technology that relates to submitting data -- such as a voice-based search query -- on a smartphone, and having results from submitted data in search results appear automatically on a second computer, such as a television monitor or a desktop computer.
This patent application supports a computer-implemented method for information sharing between a portable computing device and a television system through "spoken input from a user" on a portable or mobile device. "The television system is programmed to submit the textual representation as a search query and to present to the user media-related results that are determined to be responsive to the spoken query."
The New York Times describes a year of Google ads based on "emotion," but last year the Mountain View, Calif. company left hints that it would begin producing its own content, as well as get closer to Hollywood by opening a location in Los Angeles.
Mobile television will finally make its mark in 2012. A host of companies plan to make announcements at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Companies like Flingo will introduce one-click access to Twitter and Facebook from smart TVs. The company calls it "social TV."
Dyle mobile TV will debut at CES, allowing consumers to experience Live, local broadcasts on a mobile device without a data plan of Wi-Fi connections. The offering provided by Mobile Content Venture (MCV) has begun to roll out mobile video service in 32 markets, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.
MCV brings together a joint venture of 12 major broadcast groups, including Belo, Cox Media, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television Inc., Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek Stations, and Raycom Media, as well as Fox, NBC and ION Television.