Intel Corp. will introduce its own-brand set-top-box as well as Internet TV service at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week. Intel’s TV service will be different from competing offerings that require to completely transit to streaming TV from cable TV and thus lose access to content that is not licensed by the owner of the service.
Intel, the world's largest maker of chips, has been working on its own pay-TV service for around one and a half years now. Firstly, Intel withdrew from Google TV initiative; secondly, it acquired media codecs from Real Networks, which confirmed that the company was working on something related to media. Finally, Intel began to pitch media companies on a plan to create a "virtual cable operator" that would offer U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle similar to those that are sold by actual network operators.
Rather than roll out nationwide, the launch will happen on a city-by-city basis so Intel has more flexibility in negotiating licensing with reluctant content providers, according to a video industry source, reports TechCrunch web-site. The chip giant failed to launch the service in 2012 because certain media companies were reluctant to negotiate about content licensing.
Intel reportedly planned its own set-top-box that it would offer to end-users, who would obtain Internet subscription simultaneously. The STB is set to be revealed at the CES trade-show this month, according to the report.
It is unclear is how Intel plans to make its "virtual operator" more competitive than actual operators among end-users. Moreover, it is unclear what advantages will Intel's operator bring to content owners: there are tens of services that sell on-demand video and lack live shows and the chipmaker is unlikely to offer just a little better pricing.
Intel did not comment on the news-story, but a number of its recent activities prove that the company is working on something to ensure higher amount of its chips are installed in living rooms worldwide.