Intel corporate VP Erik Huggers has outlined the company’s plans for an internet TV platform that will combine apps with live, catch-up and on-demand content from the major broadcast and cable TV networks.
Speaking at All Things Digital’s D: Dive Into Media conference, Huggers said the firm plans to launch an Intel-powered box available from retailers under a new brand name that is yet to be announced.
“It’s not just a device. Where it really gets interesting is that we’re working with the entire industry to figure out how we get proper television, delivered via the internet, to consumers. So this is an over-the-top service where we will deliver both live television – broadcast, cablenets and other output – but also catch-up television, and introduce that properly to this market,” said Huggers.
The former BBC iPlayer executive said that catch-up TV, in a similar form to the BBC’s all-inclusive seven-day offering “still really doesn’t exist” in the US.
He added that although there is already competition in the US from the likes of Apple TV, Roku, smart TV platforms and OTT services like Netflix, “not many have truly delivered.”
The Intel offering will allow users to subscribe to web-delivered pay-TV, in the same way that consumers receive cable services today. However, Huggers promised a “more flexible environment” where the end-user has more control over the bundles of content they pay for.
However, he said that channel bundles still offer value as they curate content, and the industry is not yet ready for a pure “a la carte” model.
“We are partnering with programming partners. We are working with everyone right now and we are very confident that at a time when we launch we will have a very compelling product,” Huggers said, without giving a launch date.
The device will also include a built-in camera that logs users’ TV viewing habits, in order to offer more personalisation. Huggers said the Intel Media division that is working on the product had hired people from firms like Apple, Microsoft, the BBC, Google and Netflix.
Huggers joined Intel from the BBC’s Future Media & Technology division in 2011 as corporate VP and general manager of the company’s Digital Home Group. Rumours have since circulated about Intel’s TV plans.
“Ultimately, we think there is an all-in-one solution,” said Huggers, but he cautioned: “Rome wasn’t built in a day – it takes time sometimes.” Reports earlier this year suggested the project had been delayed and was not expected to launch until mid to late 2013.