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Intel to introduce new set-top-box that will compete with Video on Demand companies

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 01:02

Intel, the computer chip manufacturer, revealed their plans for a new set-top box that will deliver video on-demand and live TV via internet.

According to Intel’s corporate vice president of media Erik Huggers, the device will provide a much better experience than what consumers have today.

The yet to be named box will launch under its own brand via Intel’s new media division. They plan to compete directly with the Roku box, Apple TV, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and cable/satellite providers.

While many consumers are surprised by Intel’s latest move, one professor at Sam Houston State University is not.

“I’m not shocked,” said Director of the Center for Excellence in Digital Forensics, Professor Andy Bennett. “They’ve tried to make other products over the years. Their network cards were their best product.”

The device will offer “Catch Up TV”, which is a service that makes anything that is broadcasts on network and cable TV will be available on demand. Intel also announced that they may have Netflix as a streaming service partner.

Bennett said that Intel’s greatest challenge would be providing a streamlined experience for consumers.

“It has to be a low-friction process,” Bennett said. “The features should help the interface without interacting.”

According to Wired.com, Huggers emphasized that they planned to streamline and enhance consumers’ experience when viewing media. To do so, Intel decided to include a redesigned electronic guide and a camera.

The camera determines who is watching and adjusts the environment and suggestions based on who is watching. This allows the consumer to change either experience without any input. The feature can also be turned off.

Bennett said that if the box were to include a Blu-Ray player, Intel will have the competition locked up.

Bennett also said that Intel’s greatest threats would be the cable companies’ cap on bandwidth and programming delivery.

“Consumers can only stream so much before their limit is reached”, Bennett said. “Intel’s programming will cut into ISP’s revenue. So they will respond by offering a better deal than what Intel already has.”

Intel has also had trouble with marketing their products in the past. Their other products, such as their app store AppUp and a small Mac mini competitor called NUC, hardly have any publicity according to Wired.com.

As for the box’s potential success, Bennett said that it is a strong possibility but no guarantee. However, he said that the concept of online on-demand content is the way of the future.

“The success of the concept is inevitable”, Bennett said.

 

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