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TheStreet Open House

A Google Set-Top Box Would Do Absolutely Nothing for the Stock

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In the battle for consumers' eyes Google (GOOGL) is reportedly jumping into the fray against rivals Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN)

Big yawn.

According to the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, the company is readying a new set-top box that, while carrying another company's brand, will be powered by Google's new Android TV software.

"Users will be able to control the box using Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices," the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

Now raise your hand if you believe any of these features are new?

Google cares and focuses only on making its operating system as ubiquitous as possible. To me, that's the only thing that matters in this case. Like Amazon and Apple, Google is looking to extend and leverage its ecosystem while also building upon the popularity of Chromecast.

Google shares recently traded near $581, up 3.5% for the year to date. So before you go jumping in to buy Google stock solely based on this announcement, think about how this new set-top box will stand out from Google's already popular Chromecast.

Or will the device be any different from video game consoles such as Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox and Sony (SNE) Playstation consoles that carry similar features. Smart tvs from the likes of Samsung (SSNLF) can essentially do the same thing.

Why is anyone surprised Google will not manufacture the device but allow another company's name to be on the hardware? It's no different from how Google has operated with Android.

Apple's recent deal with Comcast (CMCSA), aimed at reinventing the way consumers watch television, demonstrates the sort of leverage Apple's set-top box (Apple TV) already has.

Apple and Comcast are said to be negotiating a joint streaming-television service. To ensure the success of the service, Apple demanded special access on Comcast's public line to prevent congestion. Google's set-top is a means for Google to keep up and not be left behind.

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