Google is understood to be testing TV search capability with US pay-TV operator Dish Network, allowing Dish subscribers to find particular shows on the broadcast service as well as video from websites including Googles YouTube, using Google software installed on Dish set-top boxes.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the test, which began last year, is currently limited to a small number of company employees and their families. Viewers can search using a wireless keyboard. The Journal, citing sources close to the matter, reported that Google hopes to link the search service up with its TV advertising software business.
Google launched its Google TV Ads venture about two years ago. The company offers an auction-based system to advertisers, where companies can search for programmes that fit the profile of the product they are selling, and Google can retrieve information from set-top boxes about how many viewers tuned into the ad and for how long. Advertisers pay only for those households that have viewed an ad. Dish Network has been a partner with Google in commercialising the service, along with a number of cable channels. However, the product has made relatively little impact to date.