In what was previously considered to be rumor, Intel, it seems is all set to launch its own virtual cable TV. Some aver that Intel’s decision is a sequel to its failed attempts into convincing smart television manufacturers to use their chips in their sets. It is expected that a formal announcement to the effect may come during the CES in Las Vegas this year. Licensing issues, it appears, is being sorted out with those concerned and if all goes well until mid-2013, Intel will have launched the virtual TV at least in a few cities in the US.
A nationwide launch is however not possible it is reliably learnt. However, the biggest hurdle will be the content providers, who are already locked with the cable TV industry. For strategic reasons, content companies may not like to give up their existing relationship with the cable TV industry. Google & Apple too, did meet the same problem with a similar plan like the one of Intel. The launch it is believed may be a way of weaning away users over a longer period, because the prospect of present users switch immediately seems a distant dream.
The Intel service, according to some in the know of things are reporting that the service will include a set-top box and will use the existing internet channels for relaying signals to homes. That means, prospective Intel TV users may not have to battle with the DVRs any more with most functionality being taken over by Intel servers. That Intel is dead serious about finding a place in the living rooms of American homes has time and again been confirmed by sources familiar with Intel’s ways of working.
New is also rife that the set-top will have facial recognition built into it. That, sources believe, can help advertisers to deliver ads in a targeted way and measure performance more dynamically. The city-by-city roll out it is believed is something that content providers may be willing to experiment and go with, especially in those areas where they have loose tie-ups. It is likely that Intel may use CES as the launching pad to reveal more about its plans then on 7-January. It is also likely that a finished set-top box will also be revealed during the meet at Las Vegas.
When Intel’s plans see the light of the day, it can prove to be great bonanza for viewers who may want to watch TV by subscribing to select channels, which now not possible with all cable TV offering being bundle based. Another advantage, for users could be the access that will let them use apps, casual games and video games. In all probability the recording and playback system planned may be cloud based, meaning that device limitations will not stop Intel from providing additional features.
While Intel is busy with its plans, sources within the industry say that LG may reveal 7 smart television models aimed at Google TV users. The television it is believed will be in 2 series and of 5 sizes – 42, 47, 50, 55 and 60-inch.