Entertainment

The TV Revolution Is Here, And It's Led By... Intel?

Google tried it and failed. Microsoft’s spent years putting pieces in place with Xbox, but it hasn’t gotten there yet. And if you believe the rumours, Apple’s been working on it in secret for years. But the living room revolution we’ve been waiting for won’t be coming from the big three, according to a report from TechCrunch.

It’s Intel’s turn at the plate, with a little set top box that will, allegedly, change the way we watch TV forever.

That Intel is interested in your living room is nothing new; the WSJ reported on the company’s set-top box yearnings back in March. But details were scarce then, and early-stage rumours like that have the frustrating tendency of never being heard from again. This time, we’ve got details. And they seem promising.

It seems as though Intel’s proposed subscription service wouldn’t try to replace your current ISP outright — as the more radical approach sought by Apple has been rumoured to — but instead provide traditional channels (potentially in smaller, more affordable bundles), streaming services, and a smarter DVR that gives you access to any show that aired in the last 30 days (as opposed to the ones you remembered to record). Intel’s also been working on face-recognition technology that could be used to serve up hyper-relevant ads based on who’s watching what show which, if incorporated here, would place the set top box firmly in the creepzone.

So why would pay TV companies allow it? Partly because they’re still retaining some control, but also — according to TechCrunch — they might not. Intel’s reportedly planning to roll out the service a few markets at a time. If cable companies see good licensing income, it’ll roll out more broadly. If not? Well, it was a nice try.

With CES just a week away, we should know more concrete details very, very soon. The most important of which is: does this even actually exist? Let’s hope so. And that Apple and Microsoft and Google aren’t far behind. [TechCrunch via Engadget]


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