Huggers believes the time is right for Intel to roll this out, noting
that the “broadband capability is already here; and HEVC [high
efficiency video coding] can now achieve video compression that’s 50
percent more efficient than H.264.”
Intel’s box, powered by an Intel chip, will feature a video camera so that it “knows” who is
watching the programs and the programs he/she prefers. Featuring a
camera on a TV to change the user interface was something proposed by
Panasonic at its press conference during the Consumer Electronics Show
last month. But Intel will take that idea a step further, in an attempt
to offer a much more attractive and tailored programming to viewers.
Huggers drew a comparison to today’s electronic programming guide which, he
said, looks more or less like a “spreadsheet.”
While stressing a
more advanced and intuitive user interface as an advantage for its
Internet TV platform, the “curated bundle” is another feature Intel is
pitching for its service. When pressed about whether Intel’s new
Internet TV service will finally allow viewers to pick and choose what
they want to watch, Huggers demurred. “I don’t think the industry is
ready for pure a la carte.”
He said, “I think there is value in
curated bundles.” However, Huggers declined to say how much more freedom the
company’s new service may allow consumers. Asked if viewers will be able
to make their current cable bills cheaper by going with Intel’s new
Internet TV platform, Huggers said, “This is not about a value play.”
actually knowing more details about Intel’s Internet TV platform, it’s
hard to judge how deep an inroad Intel might be able to plow. One
question dogging Intel is this: After failing with its previous TV
initiatives, what proof does Intel have now that things are different
this time around?
Huggers' answer was simple. “People,” he said.
which has been in existence for about a year, is a unit separate from
Intel, housed in a separate building. It consists of a “new type of
people,” said Huggers, including a female marketing executive who joined
Intel Media from Apple, where she spent her last 12 years launching
i-products. Also on the “new people” team is someone from Jawbone,
famous for its Bluetooth headset, and an escapee from Microsoft, Huggers said.
I continue to be baffled by the difficulty companies have in offering unfettered access to Internet TV on their large screen TV sets. It seems such a simple problem to solve, and we keep being told that "it hasn't been cracked yet." (Thank goodness I didn't know it hadn't been cracked. Allowed me to solve the problem without the anxiety that it couldn't be done!)
Not sure why Intel thinks it needs to become a copycat cable system, content tiers and all, instead of focusing its efforts on making a good Internet TV STB. Or for that matter, marketing their solution to the CE vendors, to embed in TV sets.
It seems to me that banking on the blessing of the TV content owners, to allow Intel to become another cable-like service, is just asking for problems. And they lose me as a customer right away.
The tough nut to crack is the unbundling of Content contracts which are held by Comcast (NBC), Time Warner, Disney (ESPN) and the like.
To unbunde ESPN HD from the rest of Disney is costly. If you wanted just ESPN and nothing else, would you as a consumer be willing to pay $45 just for ESPN?
Bert, I don't know why you're such a skeptic about the likelihood of Intel taking over the field of content distribution, I mean look how devastatingly successful they were piling billions into developing XScale technology then using it to take over the consumer side of the telecom industry! (Oops, they sold that disaster to Marvell and left with their tail between their legs in utter defeat didn't they? Pride going before the fall part two? Hmm...)
Burt, BTW, if you would like to have a good STB made with Intel silicon inside, I would suggest you take a look at Xfinity X1 service: http://xfinity.comcast.net/x1/
Or if in Europe, check out Liberty Global offerings: http://www.lgi.com/horizon.html
The delivery of the content is simple. The problem is the various licensing and proprietary locks every link in the delivery chain. The interest in this is based upon the changing dynamics of what a PC will be used for in a house. The TV will remain a center point for a family, even those that use multiple screens to watch content. Intel is not the only company working on this type of hardware. We will have in production in April a very small PC that sits on top of the TV, with a camera built-in.
I learned earlier this week (from Google's presentation in the Silicon Valley Comsoc, Rick Merritt will be soon writing about this) that one needs 1Gb connection to the home in order to see 4K video and the compression offered by variant of H.264 has already been solved, reinforcing what @Bert22306 is saying -he is spot on, Intel should rather focus its attention on a good set top box for the next generation video. Incidentally, at the event cited above, Google's product manager for its Kansas city project passed around a content delivery box that has 1000BaseT as well as CoAx interfaces so some one has already SOLVED the 4K video delivery probem!
Divakar, Intel already has Puma6 silicon that can deliver 1Gbps Downstream (and 320Mbps upstream) cable modem speeds to the home... Plenty of performance for multiple channels of 4K video.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.