Intel set to destroy cable TV industry

On the eve of this year’s Consumer Electronics show (CES) The Business Insider website, reported that Intel would release a new cable killing technology. If so, the product would be the cable cutter of all times.

Chris Davies at SlashGear, writes, “The new push for a slice of the living room follows Intel’s apparent frustration with the failure of first-gen Google TV boxes powered by its chips; according to TechCrunch’s tipster, the company has grown tired of “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it’s going to do it themselves and do it right.”

However, a mere 24hr, later some websites were claiming that program rights holders remained uncooperative and that only “an early version of the STB” will make its appearance at CES.

Monster Tech Blog says Intel will roll out the technology on a city-by-city basis, initially focusing on areas where content providers have less lucrative deals with cable companies. Intel’s goal is to show content owners that flexible licensing could create a financially ‘win-win’ situation.

Intel’s service would be available to a limited beta of customers in March and offer cable channels delivered via IP broadband regardless of provider. This is different from Microsoft’s Mediaroom, which requires AT&T’s service, and Xbox which is supported by Comcast and FiOS.

Intel’s goal (in addition to selling lots of chips) is to enable consumers to be able to subscribe to content on a per channel basis, as opposed to cable’s current requirement for channel bundling. The device may offer a cloud DVR function, allowing users to watch favorite shows, which have already aired without a need to record them in advance.

However, before you call your local cable provider to cancel service, its worth noting that the above story was hot only for about 24hrs. Intel stories, as of Wednesday, mentioned launch might not actually take place at CES and instead, be pushed back to Q4. According to a Wall Street Journal story, obtaining licensed content proved more difficult than expected.

One reason Intel is unlikely to be successful (like Google TV has, so far, been unsuccessful) is that content owners and cable companies are protecting their golden goose. They won’t want to see cable blown up because it’s very good to them.