Posted January 6, 2006 8:33 pm by with 0 comments

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Yahoo may have had Ellen and Tom Cruise, but Google trumped that with a cameo appearance from funny-man Robin Williams.

As expected, Google announced Google Video and Google Pack at today’s CES keynote. Engadget has a play-by-play recap of the Larry Page’s presentation, including the skit with Williams…

“Another thing we want to announce. It’s always been a dream of Sergey’s to have Google implanted into your brain, and we’ve got someone to demo that …”

Robin Williams boots up midstage and does the funniest act he’s done in years of a Web-connected human constantly disrupted by porn spam. We can’t do it justice except to quote, “Larry, do you realize you sound like Mister Rogers?”

Danny notes two new software products included in Google Pack..

Two programs from Google are new. The Google Video Player is described more here. The Google Pack Screensaver lets you use existing photos on your computer as a screensaver, something Google says they’ve seen demand for.

BusinessWeek has more details on Google Video and what’s available…

…the National Basketball Association will sell broadcasts of its games one day after the event for $3.95. Meanwhile, public television staple Charlie Rose will post his interviews the day after a broadcast, allowing a free streaming for the first 24 hours then making it downloadable afterward for 99 cents each. Meanwhile, CBS is selling episodes of its popular “CSI” and “Survivor” series at the standard iTunes price of $1.99 per download.

Downsides to Google Video? Online authentication means you can’t take copy-protected video on the go (not without some kind of internet connection) and there is no compatibility with Apple Mac.

So who will win the pay-per-video war? The company that offers the broadest range of content and secures the best syndication deals. That’s exactly what I told the San Francisco Chronicle

Andy Beal, chief executive of Fortune Interactive, an online advertising company, said that winning the online pay per view wars will depend on giving consumers a broad choice of popular shows. No single company has yet signed deals to distribute shows across all the major networks for a fee.

“I don’t want multiple accounts with multiple providers,” Beal said. “Nobody wants that.”