One of the cable industry's key technology partners will soon become one of its competitors too.
Intel Corp. plans to launch an over-the-top video service later this year that will feature a mix of live and on-demand content, including a "catch-up" service, alongside a set of interactive applications, Erik Huggers, the corporate VP of Intel Media, said Tuesday at the AllThingsD: Dive Into Media conference.
Intel will deliver the service on its own box -- "an Intel-powered device with fantastic industrial design," he promised.
That box will personalize the experience and pitch targeted ads using features (including an integrated camera that can ID individuals in the households) that learn the viewer's preferences, Huggers said, confirming some of the details that have been speculated about regarding Intel's pay-TV plan. (See Intel's OTT Video Plan Hits a Snag.)
Huggers didn't spell out the content lineup that will grace the still-unnamed service when it gets off the ground later this year, but he said Intel is working to strike carriage deals with all major programmers and media companies. What Intel can get rights for will be offered via a range of pay-TV bundles. "I don't believe that the industry is ready for pure a la carte," he said. "If bundles are bundled right ... I think there is real value."
Tuesday's revelation confirms that Intel will be going after the pay-TV industry with a model that could put pressure on how cable operators package, if not price, their own video services.
That will also cause some obvious friction with cable, an industry that Intel is also partnered with. Intel chips are already powering some new IP-capable boxes, including Comcast Corp.'s X1 platform, that are running some of cable's next-gen video services. Intel's new Docsis 3.0 chipset, the Puma 6, can bond 24 downstream channels, enough for bursts of 1Gbit/s. (See Comcast's X1 Flies Into Philly and Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns For 1-Gig.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable