Google launched its new video download service during a keynote by co-founder and president Larry Page at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Friday.
The service, called Google VideoStore, allows US consumers to buy and download video content from providers such as CBS and the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Content providers take charge
The service will act as a marketplace and lets content providers decide in what capacity and for how much they want to sell their content, Page said. "Content producers are in charge and they can decide if they want the videos for rental, download or other things," he said.
Google also unveiled the Google Video Player for playing the videos, as well as other content deals with ITN, The Charlie Rose Show, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Classic Media, HDNet and PorchLight Entertainment.
The Google Video service has been around for about a year, but only as a way to search television programming and upload video content onto the Internet, Page said.
Page also introduced a new package of free Windows software, available for download at http://pack.google.com, that provides users with a basic set of applications for using the Internet on a computer.
Google Pack offers Mozilla Firefox, Ad-Aware SE Personal, Google Desktop, Google Toolbar, Picasa, Google Earth and Adobe Reader 7.
Actor and comedian Robin Williams also appeared during the keynote as a so-called live human search experiment, with Page feeding him search keywords as Williams rattled off associated content for search keywords wearing a multicoloured gadget as a hat.
Page also demonstrated other Google inventions during his keynote. One was a prototype for a Google Earth automobile dashboard co-developed by Google with Volkswagen, and another was a new version of Google Local for mobile devices, including the Blackberry.