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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 07, 2013

Intel Set Top Box May Be Too Good to Be Possible

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Rumors started popping up toward the end of December that Intel may be looking to enter the cable TV market with its very own set top box to directly compete with Google (News - Alert) TV and Apple TV. While this rumor in and of itself may not seem that absurd — Intel is already indirectly in the game as it provides the chips that power Google TV devices and the Boxee (News - Alert) box — the part about Intel trying to provide consumers with a true à la carte service is a little out there.

Obviously, the idea of allowing consumers to choose and pay for only the channels they want to watch is a great one, but the problem is that content providers would likely never let it happen because ensuring that certain channels get packaged along with other, more popular channels is how providers make money.

That said, an anonymous TV executive said that what Intel is really trying to do is license content from TV networks, which would allow consumers to bypass cable companies and only pay for the content they want in a manner that’s said to be more user friendly than offerings from Boxee, Apple (News - Alert) and Google set top boxes. While this makes this goal seem a lot more possible, it’s still unlikely that any major content provider will want to sign up for this, as it still conflicts with traditional distribution deals.

Intel’s set top device is also rumored to streamline the subscription between traditional cable offerings and streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, making everything available in one place, with one bill at the end of the month.

If Intel could manage this feat, though, it would be a dream come true for consumers and would go a long way to supplement the revenue being lost through waning PC sales. Either way, the company is apparently going to unveil details of its set top box at CES (News - Alert) 2013 this week, so we don’t have to wait very long to find out.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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