NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tech adores a vacuum.
The intersection of TV and the Internet has created a void that outfits like Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), Roku and now Google (GOOG) have been eager to fill. Call it the god box or the magic bridge that merges the parallel lanes of TV programming and Web content.
Google is working with Intel (INTC), Sony (SNE) and Logitech (LOGI) to develop a set-top box that hopes to deliver HBO and ESPN along with Facebook and YouTube to one screen, at least according to a report Wednesday from The New York Times.
The Google box, however, isn't answering a screaming need among consumers. Laptops and HD TVs have been happy living-room companions for years. If history is any clue, the Google box is doomed.Google TV continues an inspired succession of failed efforts by tech shops seeking to marry the two screens -- computer and TV -- into one. A notable early entry was Microsoft's WebTV. WebTV was a kit that featured a keyboard attached to your TV for Net surfing and emails. It failed, as did AOL TV, a WebTV imitator. More recently, a closely-held upstart called Roku caught the attention of some tech watchers a few years ago with its $100 set-top boxes that delivered Netflix (NFLX) movies and Amazon (AMZN) videos. But at this stage, Roku seems to represent a cul-de-sac along the road to Internet TV. Apple felt the tug of the box and offered Apple TV. If Apple can't do it, no one can -- that seems to be the expectation here. But Apple TV is a dud, though the company says it is still working on the product. So now Google steps up to the home TV plate. Like mobile phones, broadband and books, Google sees TV as a big part of our lives and no doubt a great place to sell ads. Google's role here is similar to an incubator -- or a rehab clinic -- for tech giants that have lost their way. Take Sony, whose relevance in entertainment has been slipping ever since the Walkman reached its pinnacle. It's easy to see why Sony would be interested in attaching its name to a Google project.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV