One of the interesting tidbits of news teased from Google out of Logitech's Oct. 6 launch of the Revue companion box and controller for Google TV was that Google has created a specialized flavor of search technology for the service, which weds channel surfing and Web surfing.
Are you sitting down? Good. It's called Google TV Search. Google rarely strays far from its say-what-you-mean roots, does it?
When asked at the event how search on the Google TV service works, Jill Szuchmacher business development lead for Google TV, said:
"We have developed something called Google TV Search that draws from a corpus of content, live TV, listings, for example, as well as in the case where there is content available on the Web. We've built out what we call a Quick Search Box that drops down a series of search results that are most relevant for TV."
For example, Kevin Simon, product manager for Logitech Revue, added that Google TV Search also indexes content generated by applications preloaded on the Revue, such as the Logitech Media Player.
Asked whether Google TV Search gives priority listings for Web content, such as Google YouTube, Szuchmacher said the search technology is content agnostic; it serves only the most relevant results from live TV or even DVR content for users who have DISH Network service.
"There is a lot of secret sauce happening on the back end to connect the user to the best results, regardless of where it comes from," Szuchmacher added.
I asked Google for more clarity, and a spokesperson explained Oct. 9:
"The results from the Quick Search Box on Google TV are a result of pulling from Web content, TV listings and applications on the platform (and with DISH integration also pulling from the DVR and VOD content). Since we are merging video-related content from several sources, we provide a snapshot of these video results for people who are in a leanback TV viewing mode. If they are looking for more search results, they can search the Web."
In a sense, what is new here is old. It's a niche search, which isn't very different from the specialized search provided by Google Product Search or Google Commerce Search.
Still, to my mind, the prospect is exciting: a search technology that will index content from the massive ocean of broadcast TV providers' content as well as anything on the Web. Google now has its own special vertical search engine for TV and entertainment.
I'm already pretty bullish on Google TV and plan to get a test unit from Logitech sometime this month (the sooner, the better, I told them), but this makes it a little more exciting because I'll also get a new search engine to test.