In the media: Intel mulls ‘virtual cable operator’ play

Tue, 03/13/2012 - 3:16pm
Mike Robuck

In an effort to break free of its computer-based roots, Intel is said to be soliciting programmers on a plan to create a “virtual cable operator” service that would stream video over the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel has been in contact with various programmers on a service that would use its own set-top box and user interface. Intel hopes to launch its service, which would compete with cable operators and other video service providers, by the end of this year, but it faces several obstacles, including a lack of bandwidth and the high cost of video programming.

The Journal said that Intel has asked media companies for rate cards on particular channels and types of on-demand programming, but it hasn’t struck any programming deals to date.

Intel is providing the chips in the Pace box that is being used for Comcast’s IP-based X1 service, which will be rolled out more broadly this year after a trial run in Augusta, Ga.

Other companies, including Sony and Dish Network, have considered offering bundles of live or on-demand TV channels via the Internet, while Google, Apple and Microsoft have made advances to content owners over the past few years without any deals being struck.


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