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Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service

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

Jeff Baumgartner 2/13/2013 | 3:33:44 PM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service Well, we can count on both hands how many OTT wannabees have tried and largely failed to make much of a dent in the traditional pay-TV universe.- I agree that it's-a bit weird seeing Intel try a direct-to-consumer play here, but I still think its success will hinge on what content it can get and at what price. It has no scale at the start, so I don't see how it can get lots of the good stuff and still compete on price, considering the big media companies insist on bundling all of their networks together-- if you want one, you pretty much have to buy them all.-- We'll see arguments on both sides -- why and why won't Intel disrupt the apple cart. But until we know more about what it will actually offer, it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt at this point. JB
craigleddy 2/13/2013 | 2:55:50 AM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service I don't think cable operators will be concerned about a potential OTT service from Intel because every previous video effort by Intel to create a smart TV box, a video jukebox, a video store or whatever has gone nowhere. Intel's a smart company, so why do they keep going on these excursions? Why don't they do what they're good at, like making chips? I guess the grass is always greener...

Maybe if they build it they can partner with somebody who can run it and handle the content and marketing stuff. Now you've got cable's attention.
Jeff Baumgartner 2/13/2013 | 1:51:10 AM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service Yeah, the design had better blow people away after he put that quote out there... Boxee already tried out the submerged cube design, so that one's taken.
Yes, that camera bit is a bit Big Brotherly... I see about seven levels of opt-ins required for whatever features that piece will enable. -JB
Craig Matsumoto 2/13/2013 | 12:16:22 AM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service Agreed, about the creep factor.- I don't want my TV watching me back, so to speak.

"Fantastic industrial design" is pretty funny, considering the thing's function will be to just sit there.- (Or maybe they're covering it with buttons and handles and triggers, what do I know.)
Jeff Baumgartner 2/12/2013 | 11:14:53 PM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service Even if Intel is going for better bundles, I'll be interested to see what content will grace these bundles right out of the chute. I'm sure Intel's device will have a cool interface and lots of bells and whistles, but it will still need to pay up to get the most popular content and maybe take a flyer on some of the more niche cable networks and use free OTT sources to help fill that gap. They aren't playing the price card- (yet), but i still think they'll need to undercut some of cable's baseline pay-TV bundles to get people to notice. And the price of the box itself will have to be resonable. But how do we define that? Sub-$100? JB
jtombes 2/12/2013 | 11:11:58 PM
re: Intel Preps Its Internet TV Service Wonder what 'fantastic industrial design' means. I'm thinking, small form factor. And low-cost production. Integrated camera to ID the viewer is a bit creepy.-
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