Intel is jumping from microprocessors to cable TV and set top boxes, and it will do so by launching its virtual cable TV service in a city-by-city effort to avoid licensing hurdles. According to reports, Intel is choosing a city-by-city approach in order to allow for more flexibility in negotiating content provider rates while more easily navigating city and state licensing issues.
Intel attempted to convince TV manufacturers to use its chips for Google TV’s initial failed launch a few years ago. After those talks broke down, a source says Intel was annoyed with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it’s going to do it themselves and do it right.”
Intel’s hope is that it can help provide streaming TV access while also providing users with the content they require such as sports and live news.
By combining Redbox, Netflix, and other streaming services with cable TV products, Intel marries the old media with new media to create a more converged product.
Rumors of Intel cable service started in March when the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was working on a pay-TV service and then Reuters reported that Intel wanted to use facial recognition for ad servicing, targeting, and other performance-based metrics reporting.
By rolling out on a city-by-city basis, Intel is able to experiment with licensing in different areas, ultimately finding deals that will save the company money based on each market. Had Intel attempted a national roll out, it may have been forced to use a “one size fits all” pricing model.
Intel is not exactly attempting to cut out traditional cable TV providers; for example, it licensed Comcast’s Reference Design Kit in October, a kit that will help aid the company in the development of its cable TV services.
The Inquisitr hopes to get a hands-on feel for the first Intel set top box at CES 2013 where it is expected to debut.