December 31, 2012
Frustrated With Google, Intel To Release TV Box During CES 2013
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
TechCrunch reported over the weekend that Intel is readying themselves once more to enter the television market, this time without the help of Google.
According to the report, Intel has been working on their own subscription-based cable service, but rather than wait till they have all of the kinks worked out of their licensing, they´ll be launching on a city-to-city basis. By launching this way, Intel is said to have more flexibility in their negotiations as well as a quicker entrance to key parts of the market.
Should these tipsters be telling the right story, this new Intel set top box could come with a powerful DVR which would allow users to simply stream any show from any channel they´ve subscribed to for up to a month after it was first aired. Such a development would mean users wouldn´t have to worry about scheduling their DVR to record a show.
The idea of subscribing to individual channels rather than take on bloated packages is nothing new. Since the Internet became a viable way to stream this kind of content, (think the earliest days of Netflix) many have begun looking at their cable TV subscriptions with disdain, wondering why they should subscribe to hundreds of channels if all they want is local news and sports.
Intel´s new set top box offering - said to be shown off for the first time at CES 2013 next week - will also address this issue, allowing customers to subscribe to channels on an a la cart basis.
To do this, the company will have to persuade cable providers to split off this content and allow channels to stand on their own rather than be lumped together. It is in this part of the negotiations where taking a city-by-city approach is said to give Intel some flexibility. Rather than hold up their entire launch due to one hold out territory, Intel can release their set top box option in an area whenever they finally work out the licensing deals there.
Intel has been eager to get into the TV market for some time now. Google´s TV was powered by Intel but never managed to take the share of the market that Eric Schmidt had once hoped it would.
In June, Reuters reported Intel was busy making themselves more attractive to content providers by working on a facial recognition service. This TV Which Watches You is said to know who in the family is watching what TV shows, powerful information for advertisers and content providers alike. This service has its own imposed limits, of course: It can only determine age and gender rather than be able to distinguish between individual members of the family.
TechCrunch´s sources have said Intel is ready to release this new set top box option at CES, noting the company likely felt burned by the poor adoption rate of Google´s TV. These sources even went so far to say the company became frustrated with other companies´ “half-assed Google TV” attempts that they finally decided to “do it themselves and do it right.”
Intel´s alleged new take on a DVR could likely be a major selling point for customers while a major sticking point for content providers. With this option in tow, it might be best for Intel to release in specific areas as they receive clearance. Otherwise, this box may never see the light of day.
Should Intel decide to unveil such a box at CES 2013, redOrbit will be sure to have all the details as a part of our extensive CES coverage next week.