Television has run on the cable model for as long as we can remember. Channel subscriptions always come in bundled packages, and more often than not, we end up subscribing for the bundle just to get those few channels. That is not a very efficient way of doing things and Intel has a grand plan to change this scenario. Intel is joining Apple and Google in the IPTV race. However, the unique selling proposition here is that Intel’s service would allow us to subscribe to individual channels of our preference, instead of complete bundles. The project has been developed in secrecy, and this is the first time anyone has heard of it.
The product will be made available to a limited set of beta-tester customers in March, and will be made available through an internet connection. This makes the service independent of any cable provider. The service will also include games, on-demand shows and Intel’s app marketplace.
Much of this effort is being worked upon by the Microsoft Mediaroom team, with Jim Baldwin as the VP of this program at Intel. Intel has the expertise in chip manufacturing, and it has also stuck just the right deals with Hollywood to keep this product profitable for everyone.
The project will not be showcased at CES this year. Moreover, there are many unanswered questions here. Some people are skeptic about content providers actually wanting to accept this model. Others have speculated that as the prices for these individual channels will be adjusted in such a way that the profitability per channel remains the same in both these systems. At the end of the day, the consumer will probably still end up paying the same amount overall.