Intel to Launch Virtual Cable TV Service with City by City Trial

In order to avoid licensing hurdles, Intel is jumping into the virtual cable TV game in a city by city trial. The city by city approach is to allow for more flexibility in negotiating provider rates while more easily navigating city and state licensing issues. The move into the cable TV business comes after Intel’s failed attempt to convince TV manufacturers to use its chips for Google TV’s initial failed launch a few years ago. According to The Inquisitr, a source says Intel was annoyed with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it’s going to do it themselves and do it right.”

Here is more on the launch from the Inquisitr article:

Intel’s hope is that it can help provide streaming TV access, while also providing users with the content they require, such as sports and live news.

By combining Redbox, Netflix and other streaming services with cable TV products, Intel marries the old media with new media to create a more converged product.

Rumors of Intel cable service started in March when the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was working on a pay-TV service and then Reuters reports that Intel wanted to use facial recognition for ad servicing, targeting and other performance based metrics reporting.

By rolling out on a city-by-city basis Intel is able to experiment with licensing in different areas, ultimately finding deals that will save the company money based on each market. Had Intel attempted a national roll out it may have been forced to use a “one size fits all” pricing model.

Intel is not exactly attempting to cut out traditional cable TV providers, for example it licensed Comcast’s Reference Design Kit in October, a kit that will help aid the company in the development of its cable TV services.

The first Intel set top box will debut at CES 2013, where we at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog hope to get an up close look at the new equipment.