Intel plans to launch Internet television service this year

Intel plans to launch Internet television service this year

Summary: Could revamping the television industry help Intel in the face of a struggling PC market?

TOPICS: Intel, Processors
erik huggers intel television service
Screenshot: C.Osborne/ZDNet

Chip maker Intel has confirmed its plans to enter the Internet television industry as PC sales continue to dwindle.

During an AllThingsD conference, Erik Huggers, vice president and general manager of Intel Media confirmed that the company will be launching an Internet television service this year with both live and on-demand content.

As reported by sister site CNET, the PC market is having a tough time with the rising adoption of tablets and smartphones, and so businesses that rely on this as their core source of revenue have to find other ways to generate profit.

Huggers confirmed on stage at AllThingsD's "Dive into Media" conference on Tuesday that Intel's new Internet television service will provide hardware and services directly to consumers, and as it is a highly competitive market in which Intel has no existing relationships, the chipmaker is currently negotiating with content providers. 

Hundreds of employees are currently testing a new set-top box as part of the anticipated launch. The set-top box will include a camera to detect viewers and will be powered by Intel chips. Rather than necessarily trying to undercut other television service providers, it is likely that Intel's offering -- which will include both live and on-demand, catch-up television -- will be based on a subscription model that offers more flexibility than current systems.

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

Following stints at the BBC and Microsoft, Huggers joined Intel to help push its move into the media market, a business that has been expanding for approximately a year, and has staff from Intel, Apple, Microsoft and Netflix. Intel's plans to offer smaller bundles and go beyond offerings from Amazon and Netflix to offer both live and on-demand media could not only give the firm an additional revenue stream if successful, but the camera on the set-top box could be used to tailor advertising depending on the user.

As well as potentially diversifying from the PC chip market, recent reports suggest that Intel has hired Spencer Stuart & Associates to help with its quest to find a new, suitable CEO for the chip-making firm, sources suggesting that external candidates are being seriously considered to fill the role. The company's current CEO, Paul Otellini, is due to retire in May.

Topics: Intel, Processors

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  • IPTV is so much better than the rest

    Wonder why its not so popular? Perhaps Cable is too well entrenched.

    The Intel Juggernaut can give Internet television service the push it needs.
  • Not sure a proprietary hardware requirement is the utimate solution

    I would like to see a hardware agnostic solution, something akin to a live content Netflix type service that would run on XBox, Playstation, Roku, etc. But I don't think the content providers would ever go for something like that, and the existing cable providers probably have enough lobbyists to block it as well.
  • a la carte

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

    A la carte is what the public wants, whether the industry is ready or not, that is one reason I do not have pay for tv services, I cannot pick and choose which channles I wish to see. Let me pay my monthly fee and I get to pick the channels. Then and only then do we talk services, unless I am forced into it. That is what the cable industry is afraid of--you picking a channel and not another especially one that is for a niche market. Over the air here in Oklahoma City we have probably 10-12 channels we do not even put on our remote as favorites because their programming is not anything we care to watch. Over the air channels we have the choice, cable, satellite, U-verse, we do not. Why pay for programming that will not be viewed? As for cameras, that is an invasion of privacy, they do not need to know who or if anyone is watching. Commercials are routinely muted anyway. If I had one I would block the camera. It is none of their business what is going on, they are to be a pipeline not anything else. Who is to say that the camera would be only used for what they say?
  • What is the camera really for?

    The main talking point of the camera seems to be tailoring advertising. Personally, if I have to watch ads, I would prefer to see ads that are relevant to me rather than another add for some prostate drug that I don't need.

    But lets just think about what else this can potentially facilitate: Skype, gestures to control the device, games. Sure you can put a book in front of the camera at times you don't want Big Brother monitoring you. I don't want to welcome HAL into my living room, but I already have a webcam on my PC. I don't see a problem in making use of it.

    How about if the device had a physical lens cover, just like on a camera. That way the consumer could see if the lens was open or closed. I think once the privacy concerns are addressed, this could be a great device.