Google Preps Next-Gen Set-Top
Google gets more press for its gigabit broadband ambitions than its companion video service, but that doesn't mean the company is letting Google Fiber TV languish.
Longtime blogger Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny has uncovered a next-generation Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) "TV Box" among the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings. Details on the new set-top are limited, but the regulatory filing does show that the box, dubbed GFHD200, supports dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz) WiFi up to 802.11ac, along with 10/100 Ethernet, MoCA 1.1 and 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI 1.4.
There's also a new Google TV remote in the works, with support for Bluetooth Low Energy, or Bluetooth LE.
So far, Google Fiber Inc. is only available in Kansas City and Provo, Utah. But the 1 Gbit/s service is also headed to Austin, Texas, and Google is weighing expansion options in nine other metro regions across the US. (See Google Fiber Shifts Into High Gear.)
Meanwhile, Google has sparked a gigabit frenzy across the US following the marketing success of its fiber rollout in Kansas City. Service providers and municipalities from North Carolina to Nebraska (and far beyond) are either planning or already deploying new high-speed broadband networks. (See Taking a Different Path to 1 Gigabit and Cox Lays Out Gigabit Roadmap .)
On the TV front, Google also continues to add features to its user interface and mobile apps. The latest software release notes for the primary-screen UI show the introduction of customizable program guides, channel blocking, per-channel parental controls, and trailers for video-on-demand shows.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading