I Want My IntelTV?

{complink 2657|Intel Corp.} reportedly has joined the list of high-tech companies planning to throw a hat into the TV ring. Several news outlets are reporting today that it is floating the idea of an Internet TV service powered by Intel equipment.

{complink 2294|Google} and {complink 379|Apple Inc.} are among the tech companies experimenting in the TV space. Apple makes a digital media receiver that lets users watch programming from the iStore, NetFlix, and other outlets. Google's first foray into Internet TV (which offered similar programming options) didn't take off.

Such a move is the logical next step for any business that wants to capitalize on the boom in mobile media devices such as smartphones and tablets. Companies that started out in the hardware business (like Intel and Apple) could develop devices that improve the viewing experience. Apple's new iPad offers an unbelievable display — not that many people have actually seen it. Intel makes the fastest, most powerful chips in the world.

But so far, the TV hardware offerings have been ho-hum. The box and remote powering Google TV weren't particularly user-friendly. New devices are scheduled to be released this year.

What's really holding these companies back, according to reports, is resistance from major networks that want to protect their agreements with cable TV carriers. Like its predecessors, Intel is pitching a package of programs to be provided over the Internet. There is no mention of whether that content will be unique, developed for better Internet performance, or in any way different from the current offerings. Moreover, content creators and licensors are increasingly leery about making content too available.

Cable TV definitely still has its shortcomings, one of them being the cable itself. But it is not the lack of mobility that seems to be keeping users from flocking to GoogleTV, AppleTV, or IntelTV. It's the lack of content, as well as the potential cost. In the Boston area, Comcast/Xifinity offers a streaming TV option. Since we already have our phone, Internet, and cable with Comcast, the service is free. If Comcast were to charge us for this service, I'd drop it like a hot potato. The programming largely overlaps with the on-demand programming we already get, including movies carried on premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.

What would Intel have to develop to prompt viewers like me to subscribe? Maybe a reality show featuring engineers stranded on a desert island?

11 comments on “I Want My IntelTV?

  1. Houngbo_Hospice
    March 14, 2012

    Such a move is the logical….

    The question is: Can intel succeed as a pay-TV provider? They do make good chips, but is this be enough to run a TV business? Obviousely,  Intel wants to expend its business, but is a TV services offering the best move? 

    March 14, 2012

    Barb.  I like it……a reality show for geeks.  It could really take off and make us all cool again (haha).

  3. Houngbo_Hospice
    March 14, 2012

    Back in 2005 Intel attempted to break into the media business market with their Intel Viiv, but that didn't take off and Intel eventually dropped the project. They probably learnt a lesson from that failure, but there are many challenges they will have to overcome before they can be able to break into that tv business. 

  4. Barbara Jorgensen
    March 14, 2012

    Yeah, I'm still having a hard time picturing Intel as a “cable” provider, yet, all the reports I'm reading emphasize the content side of the market rather than the hardware. My guess is Intel is looking to emulate the Apple model of supplying devices as well as the content. But Internet content right now is existing content in a different format. If users end up paying twice for the same thing (i.e., I have cable, but I am paying to download the same program on my tablet) there is just no value to the service.

    If Intel allows you to download something once and use on your TV, smartphone or tablet, that's something worth looking at. But licensing is going to be a big part of the process.

  5. Barbara Jorgensen
    March 14, 2012

    FScot: Yeah, I'm thinking “Survivor” but with engineers. Imagine the potential for green technology…a computer built from coconuts; seashells that actually play music…

  6. _hm
    March 14, 2012

    Intel has lots of cash. They should have good idea, develope product for it and take over some big players. That way they can have kick start and not miss opportunity like they missed it in mobile market. It is very good news.


  7. Barbara Jorgensen
    March 15, 2012

    @hm: Still, TV? I could see investment in the hardware side, but as a service provider? I rarely discount Intel's ability to do almost anything, so this definitely will be interesting.

  8. syedzunair
    March 15, 2012

    @Barbara: It seems interesting but it has desperation written all over it. We will have to wait and see if Intel's move to diversify into the services sector is fruitful. To me it doesn't seem a viable option because of the high cost and the lack of content. The only thing that will attract customers to internet TV is the content. 

  9. t.alex
    March 18, 2012

    Is there any possibility Intel also tries to drive some standard adoption?

  10. Opticsace
    March 18, 2012

    Since the late .70's, Intel has repeatedly proved that they are the absolute leaders in MOS process technology and that anytime they try use it for anything except another step along the X86 path, they get their proverbial heads handed to them (along with the privledge of writing off another few $billion).

    The idea of Intel as a service provider is laughable.

    You would think that Intel's efforts to kill the Infineon business they bought would occupy most of their free time.

  11. Barbara Jorgensen
    March 19, 2012

    I continue to try to figure out what Intel wants to do here, and I remain perplexed. If this is a signal that Intel is moving away from its core competency, then it is really more of a leap. The best way to do this is move into adjacent markets, so building set-top boxes etc. makes sense. But in terms of licensing and supplying content…Apple, Amazon and now many cable operators have claimed a stake. Intel would still have to improve on existing models…maybe faster download?

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