Intel TV Service & Set-Top Box Announced

Intel has long been rumored to be getting into the TV market some how or other, but exactly how was unknown, until today that is.

Intel have announced that they have been working on it for about a year now, and have formed a group called “Intel Media” This new group consists of people that they have hired from a number of companies including Netflix, Google and Apple. Together this team has been working hard to create a new Intel powered Internet television platform.

It’s no question that the future of TV viewing is clearly turning closer and closer to the Internet as the delivery platform, and Intel can see this.

Intel have announced that along with the new TV service / delivery platform they will also be announcing a set-top box to go with it. They say their aim is to built the best Internet television service ever.

“For the first time, we will deliver a new consumer electronics product under a new brand,” Huggers said. “We’ll offer consumers a box, and they’ll buy this directly from us. It’ll be an Intel-powered device with fantastic industrial design. But it’s not just a device. We’re working with the entire industry to figure out how we get live TV to consumers over the Internet.”

Rather than providing a supplementary source of content, Intel is aiming this as an all in one solution. Along with on-demand, there will also be live, and catch-up TV, along with apps.

Intel say they want to create a software which in unlike anything available today, including that which is available on latest Smart TVs. Intel plans to make use of the newly announced utilize H.265 (HEVC) compression codec, which is twice as efficient as the current H.264 codec commonly used today. With the higher compression rates, even 4K streaming content is on the cards.

Lastly the mention plans to integrate a camera which can detect which person is currently watching the TV and show personalized recommendations for that person. This reminds me of Samsung’s new S-recommendation service found on their 2013 Smart TVs.

I’m excited to see and hear more about this new Intel media TV service as it develops, and we will be sure to keep you updated. While the media box sounds fine, I can’t help but think that Smart TV’s and apps are the true way forwards. They always have powerful dual / quad core processors built in, WiFi connectivity, and many already featue a camera. I hope Intel will be able to offer all of this via an app on the latest / future crop of Smart TVs, but as they are primarily an chip company, I’m no so sure.

The service, which has yet to be named, is expected to launch this year. Embedded below is the interview from All Things D. The interview is 19mins long.

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