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That Ultra-Hyped Intel TV Service? It's On Life Support
by Karl Bode 04:44PM Friday Sep 27 2013
Less than a year ago, every technology news outlet and blog was busy proclaiming that Intel's planned subscription broadband live TV service was going to revolutionize the TV industry. Intel (and by proxy bloggers buying into their hype) was bizarrely confident (mostly via anonymous press leaks) that this service would succeed where many before it failed, and would surely launch any day now.

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Neither the press or Intel seemed all too concerned with the fact that those other companies (including Sony, Google, Microsoft and Apple) failed because they ran face-first into content licensing restrictions and borderline shady agreements designed specifically to kill innovative new video delivery services in the cradle.

Not too surprisingly, by June of this year it was reported that Intel hadn't managed to strike a single content deal. It's now almost October, and insiders tell AllThingsD that Intel's service, tentatively called OnCue, still hasn't signed a single content partner, and is clinging to life support as it seeks out new funding and partners:
quote:
Intel executives, who have promised to launch a Web-based pay TV service by the end of 2013, are now looking for a strategic backer to help them fund and distribute the service. If they don’t find one soon, it’s possible the project will be scrapped...But Intel has yet to finalize a deal with a major TV programmer. And new CEO Brian Krzanich, who took over the company in May, has made a point of striking a tentative tone when discussing Intel’s TV ambitions.
Those partners have included Amazon, Samsung, and according to Variety, Netflix -- who refused Intel's advances. The launch of the service has been shifted to 2014 (if ever), and Intel's once boldly-optimistic rhetoric regarding the service has taken on a decidedly more cautious tone.

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tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

1000 channels and nothing is on...

... Literally.
The coolest device is worthless without the content, and the delivery network.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Intel is sitting on nearly $20Bn of cash...

...and so cash is not the problem unless Intel doesn't want to back its own new-business venture (which is often the case with Intel's new ideas).

Just with cash, Intel could buy News Corp outright. Intel could buy controlling interest in CBS Viacom.

I'm not advocating for this, but Intel could buy them just to spin them off into a separate company that would give them rights.
--
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Tweet! Tweet! -- »twitter.com/funchords

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Intel is sitting on nearly $20Bn of cash...

Pretty sure their goal was to be in IPTV business without the big investment/longterm commitment of the traditional media industry.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Intel is sitting on nearly $20Bn of cash...

BTW intel's cash horde seems huge but their business is currently shrinking, and they are pulling back on some of there previous commitments.
Until sales BOOM again they are being very careful cash wise.
HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5
said by funchords:

Just with cash, Intel could buy News Corp outright. Intel could buy controlling interest in CBS Viacom.

Intel would not buy them specifically because their proposed business model is a threat to those very companies.

OTT IPTV threatens big media. Buying what you're trying to kill doesn't have a great long term outcome...
--
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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Doomed to Failure

Frankly, anyone who provides Intel more funding for this venture deserves what they get. And despite their advances outside their core business, who thinks anything other than "CPU's" when they think Intel?

I received an Apple TV for my birthday back in June and even there I am surprised at how limited it is. I spend most of my time using it to watch YouTube. There is little on NetFlix or Hulu Plus to interest me. I hid all the sports channels and Disney programming is not something I am really in to (I am an investor in the company, not a consumer). Since even Apple could not secure all the deals to make it a standout product, what chance did Intel have?
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Doomed to Failure

Roku and ATV have already done the IPTV, and now Google Chromecast.

What is missing is cloud DVR timeshift, and when Boxee got snuffed by Samsung along w/ SageTV with Google, well those products just died. Not sure why and for some reason XB1 or PS4 could do the same. In any case Aereo would be perfect acquisition except they are a lightning rod, but if Intel is actually trying to do something:

Timeshift Cloud DVR. Slingshot is crappy, I mean the real deal. This could also breathe life into CableCard because Intel can't be pushed around
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
said by n2jtx:

Frankly, anyone who provides Intel more funding for this venture deserves what they get. And despite their advances outside their core business, who thinks anything other than "CPU's" when they think Intel?

I don't even think CPUs with Intel either. I don't buy Intel CPUs. About the only thing I about when it comes to Intel products is network chipsets/adapters.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Doomed to Failure

said by 34764170:

I don't even think CPUs with Intel either. I don't buy Intel CPUs. About the only thing I about when it comes to Intel products is network chipsets/adapters.

I still remember when their "Intel Inside" campaign kicked off back in the early 1990's. I was working for a Fortune 10 company and all the new PC's we got in had that sticker everywhere. I ran a small datacenter with various brands of equipment and as a joke I took one of the "Intel Inside" stickers and put it on one of my HP9000 systems running PA-RISC.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Go for the little guys

If the big media outfits won't play ball, the IPTV services need to go after the little guys. For instance, Roku just got WeatherNation. No, it isn't The Weather Channel, but it actually does weather, and its Roku presentation is excellent. In fact, I've never seen anything on cable that marries video and interactive content so well.

Granted, most people watch the big channels, but if they won't bite, get the smaller ones who want additional outlets. This strategy worked for cable in the 1970s, and I think it can work for IPTV now.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Go for the little guys

Everybody wants to break into the business and be an instant success in 1 year instead of doing the hard work as you suggest. NetFlix has a hard time getting deals with the content providers so they are starting to produce their own content. Until the last mile providers can break the addon junk channels extortion we will not see much change. The good news is the current system will fall apart someday and it maybe starting to crumble already.

MikeMiltner

@charter.com

20 bn in cash.......

Charter .....Behind other cable company's with their set top tech, has content agreements, has more plant miles than Comcast, is linked to Liberty Global for a world wide deployment and has lots of debt to hide all that cash.
zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw

Can IPTV compete with cable?

Cable's biggest issue is how crazy the carriage fees/terms are getting. IE that companies that own the channels ask for pretty redistribution fees and negotiate crappy channels to be bundles with good ones (in order to sell them).

I'm not really sure why IPTV thinks they are above that?

It's a huge shift in the TV industry. Ratings are pretty low (compared to 10 or 20 years ago). This means ad revenues are less and TV channels or shifting to carriage fees to make up the revenue.

I really don't get why IPTV startups like Intel thought they could be immune to the same headaches plaguing the cable industry.

The only work arounds are to start buying the content, making the content, or pay for it like cableco's do. If you end up paying for it like cableco's do, then you really going to have a hard time have a price advantage over cable.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

1 recommendation

I hate to say it...

But I told you so.

As much as I'd like to see ala-carte succeed, it isn't going to gain any traction unless the consumer is willing to pay more, not less, and every player gets a bigger piece of the pie.

The content owners aren't going to shaft the traditional last-mile entities that provide very assured revenue streams; they have no reason to.

Absent a huge coalition of deep-pocketed newcomers putting up tens of billions as a down payment break the content free from the existing model, no hardware vendor, no streaming distribution networks or anyone else, is going to "disrupt" the status-quo.
zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw

Re: I hate to say it...

It depends. Even though people get 200 channels, I would bet that most people routintely watch less than 25 of them. A la carte would definitely make channels more expensive, but people might save a bit not have to pay for all the fluff (unless you really want 200 channels).

The content owners are poking at the bees nest. The revenue stream is assured now, but aside from sports most people can find the content online (whether it be from legal services like itunes or less honest methods).

I think cable is going to start pricing itself out of the market which means the current system won't be any more affordable than a la carte. The cable industry will probably make itself implode because neither side can get costs under control.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: I hate to say it...

The quantity of channels is a meaningless metric, whether in a bundle or ala-carte. Its the quality of the content that matters, and the value to the viewer is going to vary accordingly.

So 25 channels of desired material could readily cost more than 200 channels of fluff, even including the same 25, because each channel has to stand on its own merits.

The content owners are much wiser than this forum likes to admit; they learned from Netflix and iTunes - and won't make the same mistakes again.

Linear pay-tv isn't "pricing itself out of the market" - their pricing reflects content. American households have a choice of 2-5 last-mile pay-tv networks, but the content is controlled by a single seller.
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI

what hype?

only overindulged readers may remember,..but i dont. In fact, the only time I ever heard anything about the service is when dsl reports pointed out an obscure story on it to fill space.

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

AMD Legal Team to the Rescue

Partner with AMD legal team to go after anti-competitive practices.

AMD legal team already has this tactic perfected. Partner with them and make use of it.

This is really the only hope, to force the courts to put a stop to all the illegal anti-competitive and product tying practices going on in the industry.

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tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
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brand name is a problem

Intel is known the world over for manipulation of the CPU processor business around the globe to kick AMD when they're down amid a global downturn in the PC biz. Having that against the backdrop of trying to sell video content? Obviously a brand problem.. nobody trusts Intel to do the right thing, probably not even the license holders.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Gotta love the anti-competitive nature of the media cartel

Locking out this and googleTV, refusing reasonable licensing of content to other providers outside of the cable and sat providers, and their own streaming services, blocking media devices from accessing streaming web content for little to no justification. I'm sorry, but why haven't these tech behemoths filed a few well deserved lawsuits by now?
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

1 edit

Re: Gotta love the anti-competitive nature of the media cartel

How so?

is there any actual evidence of the cartel refusing to sell content to Intel?

Or is it Intel that wants to redefine the terms of sale?

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: Gotta love the anti-competitive nature of the media cartel

And you think Intel's attempts to deal with the broadcasters studios has gone any differently than Google's? While I'm making an assumption, it's supported by the historical behavior of the entertainment cartels.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Gotta love the anti-competitive nature of the media cartel

I agree that Google, Apple, Microsoft, among others, have all come to the same end as did Intel.

But that isn't evidence that the content owners refused to sell. Rather, I suggest that all of these new, wannabe distributors, are simply unwilling to pay the market price for content.

Instead, they want to pick and choose and name their terms, and by so doing, give themselves a very large slice of the existing pie, taken from the content owners and the traditional distribution networks - both of whom have no reason to give away the store.

Much as I'd like to see ala-carte options, at any price, the public has no inherent right to them, absent legislation.

The mere existence of IPTV STB's and related "innovation" does not entitle the technology access to the content without just compensation. That's the impass.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Re: Gotta love the anti-competitive nature of the media cartel

said by elray:

I agree that Google, Apple, Microsoft, among others, have all come to the same end as did Intel.

But that isn't evidence that the content owners refused to sell. Rather, I suggest that all of these new, wannabe distributors, are simply unwilling to pay the market price for content.

Instead, they want to pick and choose and name their terms, and by so doing, give themselves a very large slice of the existing pie, taken from the content owners and the traditional distribution networks - both of whom have no reason to give away the store.

Much as I'd like to see ala-carte options, at any price, the public has no inherent right to them, absent legislation.

And what are you basing your assumption on? In the case of GoogleTV, distribution rights weren't even relevant. Google wanted it to create a highly integrated TV experience, have the device be like a TV show search engine, where it could find the show you were looking for, whether it's showing at a later time or could be found on a streaming service or a network's web site. Instead, the networks threw a collective hissy fit and blocked the device from accessing freely available content on their websites in the exact same way you would access them with your PC. This was a baseless attack on Google and the GoogleTV product, since there's a number of other devices and software products that can access the websites of these networks without being blocked.

quote:
The mere existence of IPTV STB's and related "innovation" does not entitle the technology access to the content without just compensation. That's the impass.

Except throughout this entire issue, you'd be hard pressed to find a report that Intel, Google, Apple or any other tech company has demanded low distribution fees from the networks to host their content on an internet device. What has beenthe case, repeatedly, is that the networks, with hardly any exceptions, keep circling the wagons with their cable partners to block any innovation when it comes to alternative or even just additional delivery methods of their content. My god, just look at the shitfits they've had over the Hopper and Aero.