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Intel Confirms Internet TV Service, Set-Top Box

By - Source: CNET | B 10 comments

Intel is launching its much-rumored Internet-based TV service in 2013.

Erik Huggers, vice president and general manager of Intel Media, confirmed at the AllThingsD media conference that the chip giant plans to introduce a new Internet-based TV service and set-top box in 2013. He said the box itself, powered by an Intel chip, will sport a camera that can detect who is in front of the TV, seemingly backing up previous rumors that the company may limit content viewing to the number of customers present in front of the screen.

"For the first time, we will deliver...a new consumer-electronics product that people will buy from Intel through a new brand," Huggers said.

As indicated, the company will actually provide the TV service and hardware directly to consumers rather than rely on third-parties. He said Intel is currently working with the entire television industry to determine how to distribute live television, to offer “catch-up TV”, and other TV-based services across the Internet. Intel believes there can be an all-in-one solution that will please content owners and cable/satellite providers.

Like Apple, Intel is looking to fix a broken TV industry by changing the way media is consumed in the living room. And like Apple, Intel has seen an opposition from Hollywood, cable and satellite providers who are reluctant to alter the current (lucrative) system, to “unbundle” and license specific networks and shows at a discount.

But according to Huggers, potential customers won’t save any money by ditching their current cable provider for Intel’s solution. They also won’t be able to pick and choose their own channels, but rather will be forced to subscribe to bundles created by the Intel team.

"What consumers want is choice, control, and convenience," Huggers said. "If bundles are bundled right, there's real value in that.... I don't believe the industry is ready for pure a la carte."

Thus Intel plans to provide smaller bundles than what’s offered via cable providers, seemingly allowing consumers to “cut the crap” that typically comes packed with cable and satellite TV subscriptions.

Intel tried once before to enter the TV industry through a Sony Google TV set-top box, a Logitech Google TV set-top box, and other Smart TVs. When the first-generation Google TV devices failed to gain any traction, the company stopped pushing its chips and shuttered its TV business in late 2011.

"We have been working for (the past) year to set up Intel Media, a new group focused on developing an Internet platform," Huggers said. "It's not a value play, it's a quality play where we'll create a superior experience for the end user."

Huggers said the set-top box, which will be the central point of Intel’s TV service, will be able to “steer content and ads toward specific users” thanks to the built-in camera.


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  • 4 Hide
    smokeybravo , February 12, 2013 10:08 PM
    Built in camera? Pass.
  • 1 Hide
    JohnA , February 12, 2013 10:15 PM
    I am SO going to get a Ron Jeremy mask for watching TV.
  • 2 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , February 12, 2013 10:23 PM
    I wonder if the drones flying over can confirm the cameras not being cheated
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , February 13, 2013 1:20 AM
    If I have said it once, then I will say it 1000 times: If I am paying good money for a subscription service then I want absolutely 0 commercials. Take my money, and fund the shows that I actuially watch, and then cancel the crap that I pay for but will never watch in a million years!

    This is why I don't have cable, and this is why I will not do Hulu+. Almost every show that I want to watch can be viewed online for free (with commercials, which I don't mind as it is free, I mean they have to pay for it somehow), or on Netflix, or via a rental or purchase of DVD or BluRay. All perfectly legal, all with no or extremely limited commercials, and all much MUCH cheaper than any cable style subscription service.

    I love Intel... but this is not the direction TV viewing is moving. It is sad that they do not see this.
  • 0 Hide
    hector2 , February 13, 2013 4:40 AM
    If this gets us to pay per channel, I'm in
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , February 13, 2013 5:26 AM
    "sport a camera that can detect who is in front of the TV"

    So I can mount a photo of My Grandparents in front of the camera and then only commercials for Adult diapers and the Hoveround will show up ?

    Seriously, if Intel thinks people will accept a camera looking into their living rooms checking on who is there (and possible doing something nasty) Their Management is farther removed from reality than the average reality TV show.

    Not a freaking chance that I allow some cam check on what is going on in my house unless I am behind the eye piece.


  • 2 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , February 13, 2013 5:28 AM
    caedenvIf I have said it once, then I will say it 1000 times: If I am paying good money for a subscription service then I want absolutely 0 commercials. Take my money, and fund the shows that I actuially watch, and then cancel the crap that I pay for but will never watch in a million years!This is why I don't have cable, and this is why I will not do Hulu+. Almost every show that I want to watch can be viewed online for free (with commercials, which I don't mind as it is free, I mean they have to pay for it somehow), or on Netflix, or via a rental or purchase of DVD or BluRay. All perfectly legal, all with no or extremely limited commercials, and all much MUCH cheaper than any cable style subscription service.I love Intel... but this is not the direction TV viewing is moving. It is sad that they do not see this.


    It's amazing how many people have completely forgotten that advertisements are supposed to completely pay the bill. Hell, people today will actively argue against providers giving away free content. It's crazy.

    If you paid to watch something, then you shouldn't see a single ad. If you are seeing ads, the content you're consuming should be free.
  • 0 Hide
    homiedontrightclick , February 13, 2013 4:55 PM
    This is where Apple will lose some serious ground that they could have already taken hold of years ago.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , February 13, 2013 7:09 PM
    The use of these devices is illegal in some states due to the camera. If the device is retransmitting or recording the video of who is in the room without the explicit consent of everyone being recorded, then whoever is operating the device is potentially breaking the law. Is the operator the homeowner, the person who installed the device, the person who turned it on, Intel, or someone else? In any case, this will create some funny lawsuits.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , February 13, 2013 7:16 PM
    jkflipflop98It's amazing how many people have completely forgotten that advertisements are supposed to completely pay the bill. Hell, people today will actively argue against providers giving away free content. It's crazy. If you paid to watch something, then you shouldn't see a single ad. If you are seeing ads, the content you're consuming should be free.


    This is why I don't buy DVD's or go to movies anymore. No 25 minutes of "you cannot skip" previews...

    Thank you Netflix for giving me what I want, when I want it. When you pay for content, you should get exactly what you pay for, not what you want with a shovel of propaganda and a side of crap. Too many people are happy taking whatever they can get and don't care though.