Google Video service sticks to the script

Google, for once, is playing catch up to search engine rival Yahoo! by launching its own Google Video service

Google Video is based around an index of the subtitles or transcripts of US television shows although only from a limited number of channels at present. By entering keywords into the search box, Google returns results based on the text of the shows. Thus, entering ‘Iraq’ as a keyword will, unsurprisingly, return a large number of news shows and a snippet of the transcript where Iraq is mentioned along with a still image of the programme.

Alongside the stills and contextual subtitles, visitors can see when the show is next due to be broadcast or can perform a more conventional web search on the show.

Google Video offers a different approach than that taken by Yahoo’s video service. Yahoo! Video takes a more conventional approach by offering a searchable index of video clips from across the web similar to the way most search engines offering an index of jpgs via an ‘Images’ library. As with image searches, the Yahoo Video index will show you the web page where the video was taken from and give the option to play the video itself.

Yahoo! announced its video service on 17 December and Google says it has been indexing its TV content since ‘late December’, but promises more content will appear as it adds more channels.

The service is clearly only an alpha release at present as it doesn’t offer viewable video clips at all although there is clearly an intention to do so. It’s unclear whether Google is prevented by copyright or technical issues as this stage. However, Google does say it is looking to expand the service and offer a wider range of video material by asking video content owners to submit their material for inclusion.

Google says there are ‘no specific plans’ to offer an index of British TV programmes at the moment.

You can take a peek at Google Video here.

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