Just a few weeks ago we heard rumours that Google was plotting a pay TV service set to launch this year, and now a Wall Street Journal report has surfaced, suggesting that Intel is also planning to launch a web-based TV service in 2012.
Intel is apparently exploring different options, but the end game is the same in each: they want to sell you TV programming over the internet.
The Silicon Valley company has for several months been pitching media companies on a plan to create a "virtual cable operator," which would offer their U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle similar to subscriptions sold by cable- and satellite-TV operators, according to people familiar with the effort. Intel wouldn't provide Internet access, which subscribers would obtain separately.
The TV offering would use Intel technology, and in at least some scenarios under consideration, would use Intel's name. In its presentations to media companies, Intel says it is making its own set-top box to carry the TV service, and it has demonstrated a user interface for users to browse programs.
Intel's tack is a little different than Google's in that it would only provide the content and leave you to find your own ISP. Google's plan, it seems, would be linked to the high-speed broadband service it is testing in Kansas City.
As the WSJ reports, a TV service would be a drastic change in direction for Inel, which over the years has been primarily a hardware manufacturer — not a consumer services company. [The Wall Street Journal via Techmeme]