Intel on Tuesday confirmed it is developing an Internet TV service with a set-top box. Rumors of such a project have been circulating for months, dating all the way back to March 2012. Now Intel says it will have a full platform out within a year.
At the D: Dive Into Media event, Erik Huggers, corporate vice president at Intel Media, explained why the rumors have been around for so long:
We have been working for about a year now to set group called Intel Media. It’s a new division with new people — people from Apple, Netflix, and Google. And it’s devoted to developing an Internet television platform.
For the first time we will deliver a new consumer electronics product under a new brand. We’ll offer consumers a box and they’ll buy this directly from us. It’ll be an Intel-powered device with fantastic industrial design. But it’s not just a device. We’re working with the entire industry to figure out how we get live TV to consumers over the Internet.
Yet it’s not clear what exactly will set Intel’s offering apart from the slew of products already on the market: it’s not as if delivering content to your TV via your existing broadband Internet connection is unheard of. We do know, however, that it will have a camera that will look who is in front of the TV to serve up personalized shows.
That’s nothing new, given that Microsoft has the Xbox and the Kinect; the latter is of course much more than just a simple camera. On the one hand, there is no dominant force in Web TV right now: no one company has figured it out and managed to convince the majority of customers to switch (although Netflix, Hulu, and even The Pirate Bay are doing great work). On the other hand, Intel has yet to reveal what it brings to the table that nobody else already has, if anything at all.
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