The latest tech giant to eye a seat on your living room couch: Google (GOOG), which has quietly released a new software app called Google Media Server.
What does it do? Not much. Right now, it sits on your Windows computer and lets you stream stuff like Picasa photos and YouTube video to your TV — assuming you have a Sony (SNE) PlayStation 3, a HP (HPQ) television, or a few other gadgets that understand a technology called UPnP, or Universal Plug-and-Play.
Is this the beginning of a Google living room push, where it takes on Apple TV, Netflix streaming gadgets, etc.? Way too early to tell. From what we’ve read so far, this is a very buggy, very bleeding-edge, early-adopter-type product.
It makes sense that Google would want you to have as many ways as possible to watch their YouTube videos (and eventually ads) on your TV. And it’s hard to find a tech company that doesn’t want to be the one to link your TV to the Internet. So Google Media Server could get more sophisticated over time. But as Saul Hansell points out at Bits, it’s also possible that “Google has too many engineers with too little to do.” We look forward to seeing what’s next.
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