Google, the leading internet search engine, will announce on Tuesday it has linked with broadcasters to provide a service allowing web users to find content in television programmes.
Google Video will appear in the Google Labs section of its site as a work in progress, but content will be available immediately from US TV networks such as Fox, PBS and C-Span.
Google will receive the programmes as they are broadcast, grab still images from them and index the content based on subtitles contained within.
Users searching for content will receive results based on the transcripts and illustrated with a still image of the relevant part of the programme.
Google is not disclosing its business relationship with the networks, but says there will be none of its revenue-generating Adwords contained in the search results pages although users may come across transcribed TV commercials in their searches.
Search engines have recently turned their attention to video searching, with most focusing on providing links to actual video clips.
“Connecting users to playback is an obvious next step,” said John Piscitello, Google Video product manager.
“At the moment, all we’re offering is a feature which gives information about upcoming episodes of the programme.”
A much smaller rival Blinkx launched blinkx.tv last month, providing access to TV news, movie trailers and other video formats.
Yahoo released Yahoo Video Search in mid-December in a trial version. A spokeswoman said on Monday it would begin promoting the service from the front page of its website and was adding captioning for Bloomberg, BBC and BSkyB broadcasts.
Less popular search engines such as alltheweb and altavista have been offering searches for video clips for some time.
Google’s video service followed the company’s announcement last month that it would digitally convert and make searchable millions of books from the libraries of leading universities.
“Our mission is to help Google users find the information they need, whether it’s on the web, in a library, or on TV,” said Larry Page, Google co-founder.