Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has officially announced that it plans to get into the Internet TV business. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as rumors about it have been circling. Also, the company has already announced its plans to release a television box before Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) comes out with one. An Internet TV service seems like the next logical step, and it could provide an important source of revenue for the chipmaker, as personal computer sales continue to decline.
Intel Media VP and general manager, Erik Huggers, confirmed, at the recent All Things D conference, that the company is indeed planning on launching an Internet TV service this year, which will include both on-demand and live content. The service would involve purchasing Intel Corporation (INTC)’s set top box. Huggers also said the company might consider adding options for mobile devices as well.
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One of the concerns some have raised about Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s planned Internet service was whether users could watch television without going over the data caps some Internet providers have set. Huggers said he believes the company can do it.
The service would function in a fashion similar to cable in terms of billing. Users would pay for packages rather than a la carte services, although Huggers said they will aim to provide a more intuitive television bundle.
The set top box that will be part of the service will have a built-in camera, which does raise some privacy concerns. The camera will be used to check user’s viewing habits, which will in turn provide information for advertisers so that they can target their ads better. However, many Americans already have a camera hooked up to their television set. The PlayStation Kinect has a camera on it, although many consumers don’t necessarily think about it.
Huggers said hundreds of current Intel employees are testing the set top box right now, and they are currently negotiating with content providers for the new service. Reuters reports that sources have told it that so far content providers have been hesitant to offer licensing on various networks and television shows at a discount for Intel’s service.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) announced in January that its plans for the television box have been delayed. So far, there’s been no word on when that box will be ready for release.