Google, the internet search company, is said to be developing new search tools for digital video.
Sources say that Google is approaching broadcasters with the new technology for video search to develop business models for a searchable database on the web.
Google has an eye on the interactive television market and is understood to be interested in allowing people to use broadband television services and home media servers to search for specific video files over web, broadcast and video-on-demand networks.
Industry observers anticipate that the company will showcase the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
It is believed that the approach is based on indexing the closed-caption text of broadcast programming to identify relevant keywords, concepts and themes.
It is no surprise that Microsoft is also said to be working on video search technology based on keyword metatags, and Yahoo is looking at a similar approach.
None of the companies have confirmed or commented on their plans, but it is clear that search and navigation will become increasingly important with the growth of broadband television and video-on-demand services.