Internet search giants 'developing digital video tools'

Internet search giants Google and Yahoo! are reportedly developing tools to search digital video distributed via the web. According to US technology news site CNET, Google's "ultra secretive" plan has been shared with US television executives in a bid to forge alliances with them.

Cooperation with broadcast rights holders is crucial since its service searches keywords in the closed-caption subtitles that accompany broadcast programmes.

According to CNET, Google is now working on business models that will entice broadcasters to share their content.

"The business models are too soon to tell, but everyone is interested," an un-named source told CNET. "First, the meetings are about, 'Don't sue us for nicking your closed captioning,' and then it's the commercial possibilities."

CNET says Yahoo!'s plans extend to searching video already online today. Microsoft is said to be planning a video search function for its own search engine, due to be unveiled next year.

In a further development, Microsoft is testing a new feature in its Windows Media Center software that allows users to record television programmes on a web-connected computer. A final version of the software - currently available at Microsoft's BetaPlace web site - is due to be released in the US and Canada only early in 2005.

Lovelacemedia  |  03.12.2004

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