Dish and Google have been partners for three years, but a lack of two-way communication between set-top boxes and Google's servers has limited the success of that partnership, and Google still doesn't see any significant results from its TV ad sales. But if the current field trials expand to a wide rollout across the Dish network or anybody else, that tune could change in a hurry.
That won't happen overnight, of course, no matter how impressive the Google-powered boxes may be. Dish has 16 million customers today, many of whom use multiple boxes, and replacing all of that hardware would be stunningly expensive. Instead, I envision Google working its way into the retail end of things -- cable box provider Motorola
More to the point, so are Samsung, NEC, Toshiba, and LG Electronics, all of which have large presences in the consumer electronics market. Blu-ray players are built to be connected to broadband networks, and next-generation television sets will also come with big-time connectivity. Whatever stand-alone boxes you buy these days, like a TiVo
Set-top cable and satellite boxes may soon be a thing of the past. In the early 1950s, you needed a converter box to receive those newfangled UHF signals, but TV manufacturers soon caught on and built UHF receivers right into their TV sets. There seems to be a glitch in the Matrix, as it's happening all over again, only with digital TV signals this time. Sony
Will Google-powered personalized ads be good for consumers or just for Google shareholders? Discuss in the comments box below, and try to keep it civil.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Netflix and Google, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Netflix is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.