Google is about to start accepting video content from the public for its Google Video service, a system it's testing that lets anyone search a variety of TV clips by keyword.
The service returns excerpts of show transcripts - grabbed from close-captioning feeds - and still images captured from the shows' footage, but it doesn't provide actual video clips that users can play back.
"In the next few days we're actually going to start taking video submissions from people, and we're not quite sure what we're going to get, but we decided we'd try this experiment," said Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president for products during a panel discussion at the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) National Show.
A large audience gathered to see Page and other IT and entertainment executives burst into laughter. Page didn't provide any other details of the plan, but Google spokesman Nate Tyler said more information would be available in a few days.
Page also drew loud applause when he said he had recently switched from DSL (digital subscriber line) to a cable modem and found a big speed boost.
The five executives agreed that technology is transforming the way the public consumes information and entertainment and that cable operators have a good opportunity to benefit from the changes. Time-shifting, online content downloading and the proliferation of new mobile devices such as Apple's iPod and Sony's PlayStation Portable are among the forces disrupting traditional cable TV and other programmed entertainment sources, they said.
Also during the panel, Cisco Systems president and CEO John Chambers said he believes more consolidation is necessary in the US service provider industry.
"Too much competition is just as bad as too little," said Chambers, who heads the dominant provider of data network backbone equipment and warned of the need to build out the nation's broadband infrastructure for global competitiveness.
Also participating on the panel were Jeffrey Katzenberg, film producer and co-founder of DreamWorks, Jonathan Miller, chairman and chief executive officer of America Online and Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast.