Google, Intel, and Sony have reportedly joined forces to develop a content platform for television called Google TV.
According to The New York Times, the three companies are collaborating on the design of set-top boxes and Internet-ready TVs that will make Internet content easily available to consumers in their living rooms.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment, stating that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.
The New York Times cites unnamed sources familiar with the Google TV project. Various jobs postings at the companies in question, such as one at Intel for a Senior Application Engineer who can "extend Intel IA computing power and IA ecosystem from PC screen to mobile screen and TV screen" appear to support the claims being reported.
Logitech, a maker of computer peripherals, has reportedly been asked to design a keyboard and other accessories.
Google is supposedly aiming to deliver developer tools for the project in a few months, with products containing Google's Android-based software arriving possibly as soon as this summer.
The goal, one that companies like Apple, Boxee, Microsoft, Roku, TiVo, and others have pursued with mixed success, is to broaden the television viewing experience by making Internet content, services, and social connections more accessible beyond the PC.
If such a project is underway, the Google IO developer conference in May represents a likely venue for an announcement.
For Intel, the project represents an opportunity to sell more Atom chips. For Sony, it represents an effort to remain on the cutting edge in the consumer electronics space. For Google, it's all about the advertising potential.
"The people this is going to discommode are the people who have a different advertising model and don't want to adopt Google's," said Whit Andrews, a Gartner VP and distinguished analyst. "If you're in the business of doing traditional advertising on TV today or you're doing pay television, then this is a threat."
For Apple, which sells a set-top box called Apple TV that has never really taken off, Andrews suggests that Google's apparent entry into the arena sends a message: get serious or get out.