Intel to Offer IPTV Service?

TechCrunch says Intel will showcase a TV set-top box at CES next week. Rollout of the new service is expected to start “soon,” perhaps March, says Forbes.

Available through a broadband connection, the service would bundle certain TV channels and offer streaming content. One rumored feature would eliminate the need for a dedicated DVR. A cloud service might let people watch any program broadcast over the past month. It is counting on facial-recognition technology for targeted ads, say Reuters.

Advertiser Real-Time Bidding (RTB) will account for 13 percent of all U.S. display advertising spend in 2012, and is expect to grow sharply in the next few years. eMarketer estimates that RTB ad spending in the U.S. will grow 72% next year to $3.4 billion, up from $1.9 billion this year.

TechCrunch’s source said that Intel has decided to go it alone after attempting to convince smart TV makers to join the effort. The source added that Intel was frustrated with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it’s going to do it themselves and do it right.”

Competing with cable and satellite TV providers as well as phone companies, Intel would reportedly offer the set-top box combined with a virtual TV service, according to Reuters. Intel has rethought their consumer strategy, eschewing retail systems such as TVs in favor of working directly with service providers and STB OEMs.

Intel would use their Atom CE5300 Media Processor, a dual-core Atom with an H.264 hardware encoder, and enhanced graphics for 3D and improved gaming. As in previous generations, the CE5300’s graphics engine is licensed from Imagination Technologies and the audio engine from Tensilica.

Intel plans to avoid the high cost of license negotiations by deploying the service one city at a time rather than nationwide, according to TechCrunch.

According to ABI Research worldwide set-top box market is expected to grow slowly, from 221 million in 2011 to 242 million in 2016. In comparison, shipments of legacy STBs, consisting of cable, satellite and terrestrial boxes, are estimated to rise more slowly, making IPTV the hottest segment of the market.

“The growth in satellite, cable, and IPTV markets was strong, although digital terrestrial TV growth was flat in 2012. We expect that the pay-TV market will continue to grow in 2013 to reach 907 million subscribers,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research.

The worldwide IPTV subscriber base has been increasing over the past few years. In 2013, the global IPTV subscriber base is expected to add over 9 million subscribers to reach 79.3 million.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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