As if there weren’t enough set-top boxes on the market already, it appears as if Intel has decided to take a shot at this already saturated (and generally unsuccessful) market.
Intel, as you may know, earns its bread and butter almost entirely from the research, design, and production of some of the finest processors on both the consumer and enterprise markets. So when Intel announces they’re getting involved with internet television, it’s quite a departure, to say the least. Intel’s Vice President, Eric Huggers, publicly announced that the company has been in negotiations with major content companies and will introduce a set-top box and internet television platform before the end of 2013, and the big question on everyone’s mind is how will Intel fare where so many have failed?
“Not very well,” said SiliconANGLE Founding Editor Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins, “People aren’t en-mass turning to set-top boxes that aren’t given to them by their cable companies.”
So if the internet TV set-top boxes aren’t really in demand, what does this mean for internet television as a whole? What are companies like Intel and Cisco seeing that keeps these companies perpetually trying time and again to corner the internet television market?
As Hopkins commented, “internet TV is a lot more a-la carte,” a feature that has yet to have been fully employed, but would likely draw a massive customer base. Hopkins also added, “the playing field is considerably more level,” discussing the cost of supplying quality content through a less conventional means. So there’s no question the internet allows for a wider range of content, but until customers are actually able to select premium channels a la carte, it appears the Intel set-top box may run the same course many before it have.
The harsh reality is, though this Intel box is supposed to come packed with features such as “catch-up” television or video on-demand, and will (in all likelihood) be a fantastic device that delivers excellent television, there’s nothing the Intel Media Group is going to offer that hasn’t already been in most people’s living rooms for the past 10 years. Just as Hopkins went on to say, “They haven’t announced anything in this box that says this is what’s going to make me ditch my loyalty…there’s nothing compelling there yet.”
Don’t get us wrong, as Hopkins said, “I love it when big companies take a risk,” and generally speaking, we here at SiliconANGLE love the idea of Google or Intel TV, but until someone, somewhere offers television on an a la carte basis, you will likely not see anyone jump on board the internet television bandwagon.
Having said that, we are looking to the future on this matter, and there are a small handful of companies that could slide right into the market if they play their cards right. As Hopkins put it, “you’ve gotta’ have a trojan horse,” and currently the trojan horses sitting in a lot of living rooms belong to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. We’ve seen it a bit already with the embracing of Netflix and Hulu on these devices. And we’ve already seen the day where a user can stream ESPN on their XBOX, so it is almost certain you will finally see a legitimate contender in the internet TV set-top box business.
See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and Mark Hopkins on the Morning NewsDesk Show.