@Bert22306: "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."
Because Intel is a hardware maker, and wants to sell stuff that will have "Intel Inside". TV requires hardware, as does distribution of content. Intel wants as big a piece of that market as they can get.
Since the necessary work can be done on ARM, MIPS and other architectures, good luck to them in getting that market share.
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.
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!
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.
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
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...)
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?
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