Intel is planning to replace your current cable TV service with their IPTV service and set-top box, according to Forbes. Intel’s set-top box will be able to deliver live cable channels through your existing Internet connection provider.
The “top-secret” IPTV service will let consumers subscribe to content per-channel and perhaps also per-show as well. If the rumor is true, consumers can finally ditch their bundled cable TV subscription for good.
Intel will also plan to offer a “Cloud DVR” service, promising you never have to schedule a recording ever again. The cloud DVR service will allow consumers to stream past TV programs on demand like Hulu, but on a per-channel and show basis.
If you think this might be too good to be true, you’re not that only one. Intel isn’t the first company that has promised to change the cable TV paradigm. Microsoft Mediaroom is the most prominent IPTV platform on the market, and has been around since 2007. There are over 6 millions subscribers using a variety of Microsoft Mediaroom delivery hardware through different providers.
Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 platform is the only current product and service that provides a fairly large selections of IPTV services, such as AT&T U-verse and Comcast XFINITY. Although, consumers have to jump through several subscription payment hoops to get what they want on the Xbox 360.
With both content providers and Internet providers to deal with, Microsoft’s Xbox proves that it’s impossible to have a perfect IPTV service. So, how will Intel be able to deliver the perfect IPTV service? Details are still sketchy, but Forbes claims that Intel invested a larger sum than what Apple or Google were willing shelve out to Hollywood executives. The report, however, does not mention any agreements made with Internet providers like Comcast. Internet providers are known to throttle bandwidth for streaming services like Netflix, thus bandwidth agreements will need to be resolved if Intel is to have their IPTV service.
No subscription fee details were revealed, thus leading to more skepticism surrounding Intel’s ambitious IPTV plan. Microsoft’s Xbox division often operates on thin profit margins, partially due to licensing deals. If Intel were to have a successful IPTV service, subscription fees will be the pivotal factor that the chip maker has to workout, in order to compete with the Xbox and other competing platforms.
It has been rumored that Intel will announce their IPTV plan at CES 2013 next week, but Intel has since sent out a statement saying that they will not announce anything relating to their IPTV plans at the trade show. Fortunately, Forbes cited that a limited beta will be made available to customers in March. Lets hope it’s all good and true when that happens.