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.
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.