When you think about broadcasting one of the last names to spring to would be Google - and it wants to change that.
According to an extensive report in The New York Times, the search giant has teamed up with Intel and Sony in an attempt to create 'Google TV', a Web and widget based service that would bring streaming video and online purchasing direct to your goggle box.
Of course this isn't new, the likes of Samsung and Sony already have widget based services built into some of their higher end models while products like Apple TV, Boxee and WDTV also bring a similar experience. In a way, however, that is pretty much the point: none of these services have captured users' imaginations yet and Google believes it has the leverage to crack this particularly tough nut.
How it plans to do this is by building an Android-based platform - a brand which it hopes already has user recognition, integrating Chrome browsing functionality and then utilising its unparalleled online relationships with online service providers. This being Google, the platform would also be free, open source and there would be an SDK which is hopes would draw the same creativity and invention for developers that is evident in Android Marketplace and the App Store.
Where do Intel and Sony fit in? Google TV would require processing power and Intel is apparently desperate to get its Atom chips into the TV space - a sector where it also has little impact. Meanwhile Sony is said to be keen to be first out on the market with Google TV and is working hard with the two companies to provide the televisions. Logitech has also apparently been tapped up to provide universal remote controls with tiny BlackBerry-esque keyboards.
Yes, I'm also feeling the scepticism at this point though The NYT says Google, Intel and Logitech all declined to comment while a Sony spokesperson said they were not familiar with the project. Meanwhile Intel has been hiring application engineers with Android programming to help extent its technology move "from PC screen to mobile screen and TV screen" while Logitech has posted ads for developers to build "audio and video products based on the Android platform."
Either way, given the size of the respective companies, it will be hard to avoid leaks so if this project does have wings we should know soon. Of equal relevance is would it work? Personally I prefer just connecting a PC via HDMI to a TV and using a mouse as my remote. Combine it with a decent media centre UI and there's no fuss with codecs and no new hardware. Simples...