Intel’s Smart TV Runs Into Trouble
January 2, 2013

Intel’s Smart TV Runs Into Trouble

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

As 2012 drew to a close, some news sources were claiming that Intel was getting ready to ship their own web TV set top box, the likes of which would compete with both Apple and Google. Like the aforementioned offerings, Intel´s TV is said to offer viewers the opportunity to subscribe to different content providers, as opposed to buy into the larger packages offered by cable providers. Intel´s new TV box was also said to have built-in facial recognition for advertisers and the ability to watch any episode from a subscribed channel for up to a month after it´s been aired. Such a device was said to be released early this year and possibly unveiled next week during this year´s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Intel might not be able to meet these deadlines imposed from the outside. Citing those Familiar With the Matter, the Journal is now saying such a piece of hardware might not be released until the fourth quarter of 2013, thanks to content-licensing delays. This is the same step where other television outsiders such as Apple have been reported to run into trouble in getting a product to market. The Journal´s sources have also said Intel will not be ready to make any announcement about such a set top box in Vegas next week.

As a chipmaker, Intel can be found in many of today´s best and most popular products including laptops, mobile devices and even super computers. The company has before made attempts to break into the television market with a partnership with Google, thereby placing their technology inside other devices. Google later switched to Intel´s rival, ARM, to power their Google TV boxes. Intel has since been rumored to be ready to strike out on their own, frustrated with the way the deal with Google turned out.

In a move to break into this new market, Intel created a new group called Intel Media which is led by Erik Huggers. This corporate vice president has spent time on both sides of the equation, working for both the British Broadcasting Corporation and Microsoft. Intel hasn´t been shy in looking for employees with experience in the television market.

Yet, though they´ve got a strong position when it comes to the internal workings of their proposed Internet-enabled set top box, some have expressed skepticism that they´ll be able to compete with those companies who have experience building out devices for end users.

Richard Bullwinkle, a former vice president for Rovi Corp, a Silicon Valley media company, expressed his concerns about Intel´s possible entrance into the market with the Journal.

"Intel can help with a lot of the heavy lifting in technology,” said Bullwinkle.

"But if they think they are going to take on the device that the consumer uses they are wrong."

For now, Intel must continue to work with content providers in order to get the right licensing deals before they can bring such a product to market. Previous reports have held that Intel plans to release this device area by area as they sign the right deals, as opposed to waiting for a nationwide release.