Google’s attempted purchase of Motorola Mobility hasn’t even been officially finalized yet, but it looks as though the search giant is already shopping one of the biggest divisions of their hopeful acquisition: Motorola’s cable box division. Last year Google began the necessary steps to purchase Motorola Mobility in what many believed to be a simple patent grab to help bolster Android against patent infringement law suits. While that was the focus of the deal by most of the tech community, we at the DMZ were more interested in what this meant for Motorola’s set-top-box division. Chances are that if you’ve ever had a DVR, or any other cable box, provided by your cable operator, it was probably built by Motorola.
Google started its acquisition of Motorola Mobility only months after purchasing Sage TV, a PC-based DVR software company that many viewed as Windows Media Center’s primary competitor in the home theater PC space. We immediately wondered if perhaps Google was working to combine its Google TV services, with the DVR technology from the Sage TV acquisition, into Motorola built set-top-boxes that could be marketed directly at cable companies. This could have been a big play for Google in the living room, especially considering its lackluster performance thus far with Google TV.
If that was Google’s plan it doesn’t sound like it will work. Apparently cable companies “have shunned buying boxes from Motorola ahead of Google’s purchase”. One would assume that the cable companies aren’t interested in working with Google at the same time the company is trying to push it’s Google TV technology as a replacement for cable TV service.
So where does this leave Sage TV? Is there still a chance that Google may be looking to bring some of its features into Google TV? The best feature Sage TV had going for it was its DVR functionality, and without the likelihood of CableCARD support through cable companies, we’re not sure how Google could use the technology. If you were a Sage TV user it is possible that you lost your favorite HTPC software on a failed bet by Google.