Intel is testing its new set-top box designed for an over the top (OTT) service, with about 1,000 of its employees who work at its Oregon campus, in anticipation of a product launch later this year.
The chip maker, which is testing a user interface and is trying to line up content, is about to widen its test with more employees, according to a report in The Oregonian.
A commercial product launch is dependent largely on lining up programming, according to the report. Thus far, cable programmers have been reluctant to make their content available to pure OTT providers – virtual MVPDs, if you will. That said, there are reports that Viacom, for one, has agreed to make its content available, in this instance to Sony, which is planning a service similar to the one Intel envisions. Google is said to be planning a similar service, separate from its Google Fiber initiative, which thus far is facilities-based.
The The Oregonian quotes Courtnee Westendorf, general manager and head of marketing at Intel Media saying, "We will not bring a product to market without a compelling content proposition."
At this point, Intel is looking to put together programming packages similar to the modified a la carte packages that some MSOs have introduced, in which subscribers can build their own packages from menus typically categorized by content type (e.g., sports, family entertainment, science & nature, etc.).
GigaOm earlier this year reported that Intel has trademarked the word OnCue for a possible product, and speculation is that this will be the name for the company’s set top and / or the associated service, though Intel would not confirm that.