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Intel to Launch Web TV Service

14 February 2013

There’s another “I” TV in the works; this time the “I” stands for Intel Corp. The Santa Clara, CA-based chip giant, which has been mulling such a move for a while, will launch the service later this year.

Intel’s TV service, which hasn’t been formally named yet, will include a paid Internet video service and a set-top box. Intel joins a long list of high-tech companies – including Apple, Microsoft and Google – that plan to capitalize on consumer demand for Internet TV. For many of these companies, though, securing content has been a problem.

The Intel set-top box, which will be powered by Intel chips, will include a high-definition video camera and microphone. Intel will initially offer a selection of catch-up features and a user-friendly programming interface.

The company released no details in regard to content licensing, which has been a sticking point for newcomers to the TV field. Cable companies, the dominant TV service providers, often bundle TV, Internet and phone services together – consumers complain they are forced to subscribe to features they don't need. Intel doesn’t expect to sidestep that hurdle: Intel executives say content companies aren’t ready to provide a la carte programming. Intel also doesn’t expect its services will necessarily be less expensive than cable bills today, but the experience will be much better.

Intel – best known for selling chips to computer companies— has formed a separate division called Intel Media. Intel Media has hired a team of veteran digital-TV specialists and is being operated as a separate unit. Other tech companies have tried the model. Most notably, Microsoft broke out a separate division before it successfully entered the videogame console market with the Xbox.

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