According to The Wall Street Journal, the chip giant is looking to create a virtual TV network that would stream channels to users' PCs, TVs and mobile devices.
Intel continues to look beyond its PC and server roots, and
now reportedly is considering joining the likes of Apple and Google in moving
into the TV realm.
According to a story in The
Wall Street Journal
, Intel executives are looking to create a virtual
TV network that would broadcast U.S. television channels over the Internet.
Users would pay for the ability to see the content over a host of connected
devices, from televisions to smartphones to PCs.
The chip giant reportedly is planning to create a virtual
cable operator that will bundle the TV content, and would include an Intel-powered
Web-hosted set-top box that would stream the TV service. In addition, Intel
would offer an interface that users would leverage to browse and select the
According to the Journal
which quoted people familiar with the effort, Intel officials have been
talking with media companies about the idea, and have told the companies they
are aiming to launch the service by the end of the year. Theyve even gone so
far with the media companies as to request rate cards from some of them. Rate
cards lay out what programming is available and at what cost, though the Journal
said that it doesnt seem that
any programming deals have been cut yet, according to an unnamed source.
Intel has not commented on the issue.
Intel over the past several years has looked to grow its
business beyond PCs and servers, which still account for billions in Intel
revenue but dont have the growth numbers of other markets. Intel has
aggressively been pushing into the booming smartphone and tablet markets by
driving down the power consumption of their chips.
Those markets have been dominated by chips designed by ARM
Holdings and manufactured by the likes of Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm
and Samsung. Still, Intel expects smartphones and tablets powered by its chips
to start rolling out this year. Intel also has struck up a deal with Google to
optimize the Android operating system on Intel technology. Intel also has
brought in wireless technologies through acquisitions, most significantly
through its $1.4
billion purchase of Infineons wireless chip technology
, a deal that closed
in January 2011.
Intel also has been the key driver behind the Ultrabook push,
which aims to compete with tablets and Apple's MacBook Air notebooks.
Intel also has been growing its software business, both
internally and through acquisitions, such as the purchase of security
software maker McAfee
for $7.68 billion last year. Such acquisitions enable
Intel to expand the capabilities of its processors.
With the TV push, Intel is hoping to capitalize on the demand
for greater processing power as homes become more technologically advanced and
connected. However, there are some key challenges facing the chip maker,
according to the Journal.
those are programming costs. Currently, cable and satellite companies and
telecoms pay almost $38 billion a year to license TV channels, and those costs
are rising. And while Intels virtual service could offer smaller and cheaper
bundles, media companies tend to resist such moves because they make more money
on larger packages.
Bandwidth also could be a problem, though some believe Intel
is not as worried about that issue. Intel also could face a challenge in what
TV channels it could stream. Some channels dont have Internet rights to all of
their own shows, making it difficult to air all shows per a channels lineup.
Some would need to be streamed on demand instead.