Last December Intel tried to build hype around a supposed Internet TV service by leaking word of it to the press, resulting in a long list of outlets breathlessly insisting
that Intel was going to succeed where a long list of tech giants (including Apple, Google and Microsoft) have failed.
The problem is that traditional TV and broadcast companies don't want disruptive TV options to emerge, and they use restrictive content licenses to ensure it. Sure enough, reports emerged that Intel was running face first into content licensing issues
Fast forward a few months and Intel is now drumming up hype again
, confirming at the AllThingsD Dive Into Media conference today that the platform will launch sometime this year. Intel's Erik Huggers tried to go into great detail about how this platform is going to be different, incorporating a video camera and other features, before falling back to the fact that striking content deals has been a pain in the ass:
We're working with the entire industry to figure out how to get proper television," Huggers says, pointing out that making the consumer box isn't nearly as difficult as making deals to provide the content. Pressed about whether or not Intel would offer a la carte television channels or bundles of channels, Huggers said that consumers want "choice, control, and convenience," but said that he really did "believe that there is value in bundles." He suggested that Intel would try to do bundles "right," and that "I don't believe that the industry is ready for a la carte."
Again, it's hard to believe Intel's going to be disruptive if they're running into the exact same obstacles that other companies, many of which have better track records on innovation and disruption, are running into. While Intel's promising a revolution, the likely outcome is another mediocre 'me too" offering.