An Internet search engine company that specializes in video searches, blinkx, has partnered with a British interactive service provider, Miniweb, to bring Internet video to set-top boxes.

(For more on Internet video, click here.)

San Francisco/London-based blinkx is "probably the biggest video search engine that you’ve never heard of," said Suranga Chandratillake, CEO of blinkx.

Whereas Google scans the Internet for text, blinkx technology spiders the Internet, looking for video content.

"Most people who’ve tried to do this before are re-using text search technology applied to video content," said Chandratillake. Blinkx uses spatial analysis where computers watch and listen to and use speech recognition and visual analysis.

Although blinkx powers the video search for big online companies such as and RealPlayer, the company hopes its collaboration with Miniweb will open it to video search on television.

UK-based Miniweb already has distribution of its interactive platform through Britain’s pay TV provider BSkyB. Miniweb spun off from BSkyB.

The partnership will allow audiences to search for Internet video "from multiple sources on blinkx’s index of 35 million hours of video content using Miniweb-enabled, broadband-connected devices," according to a blinkx/Miniweb statement.

"Miniweb is more like the Yahoo Widget engine," said Ian Valentine, Miniweb’s chief architect. "We do stuff that integrates the discovery and experience of Internet video in the context of TV."

The integrated blinkx/Miniweb technology will require next generation set-tops that the partners hope to see deployed later this year.

– Linda Hardesty

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