Intel confirms Internet TV service; launch planned for this year


Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corp.'s architecture unit, left, speaks with Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive officer, during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. (Daniel Acker/BLOOMBERG)
February 12, 2013

Intel is joining the video wars. The company confirmed Tuesday that it is planning an Internet television service and set-top box, confirming rumors that had been circulating since late last year.

Speaking at the All Things Digital Dive into Media conference in Southern California, Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, said that the company’s service will launch this year and that Intel is planning to market a set-top box to hook into the service.

All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski reported that Huggers wants a service that “incorporates literally everything” and is working on the problem of how to get live television streamed over the Internet. With those big promises, however, came the caveat that it will take time to build the complex service.

Integration seems to be the name of the game in the streaming video space. Microsoft said Tuesday that it is turning the Xbox game console into a more comprehensive entertainment system and that it is launching its own studio to make original content for the device.

“Yes, we started with video games, but we have been on a journey to make Xbox the center of every household’s entertainment,” Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, said in a company statement.

All Things Digital’s Ina Fried wrote that the studio will produce premium content that, in some cases, integrates with voice control. But Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s president of entertainment and digital media, said that the company’s goal is not to compete with cable and satellite companies but to work with them on partnerships.

Other content and hardware players are also announcing partnerships at the conference. HBO had good news for Apple fans Tuesday: Its HBO Go app will be AirPlay-enabled, and subscribers will be allowed to watch it on the big screen through Apple TV. And Sony announced Monday that it had reupped its contract with Starz for first-run television rights to its movies, a deal that neatly cuts Netflix out of the picture.

In comments at the media conference Tuesday, however, Sony Entertainment chief executive Michael Lytton said that Netflix is a “good partner” for Sony and that the ability to use Netflix or a DVR box to stream entire seasons of content at once is changing television for the better.

Lytton noted that shows are able to stretch narrative lines over a longer period of time rather than forcing them to wrap up the drama with a bow every episode.

“It’s one the reason you’re seeing explosion in creativity right now,” he said, according to a TechCrunch report.

Related stories:

Intel’s expected Web TV service hits delays, report says

Netflix takes on Hollywood with original shows

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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