You should have seen this one coming from a mile away. TiVo
TiVo's hardware is moving into the same media-hub territory where the Microsoft
TiVo's move is consistent both with its proven ability to make complex media maneuvers user-friendly, and with Google's desire to organize and make available all the information in the world for the widest audience possible. YouTube is a hot property, and having that option available right on the TiVo box should lead to many millions of hours of unplanned couch-potato action nationwide. And Google is still trying to figure out how to make real money from all those video watchers -- something TiVo might have a few ideas about.
My vision of the entertainment industry in 2015 or so is slowly becoming a reality, as the lines between online content and living-room electronics increasingly blur. I fully expect TiVo to stay on the bleeding edge of this drawn-out revolution, and to transform itself into a software maker and intellectual-property clearinghouse, leaving the tricky and low-margin hardware game to the likes of Motorola and Cisco's Scientific-Atlanta. Google's role really isn't all that different, either. There's room for several winners in this field -- but the biggest winner of all is sitting in your couch.