Erik Huggers, General Manager of Intel Media, has confirmed that the company is, in fact, working on providing television over the internet, reports The Verge, and it plans to launch this year, complete with set-top box and a camera.
“We have been working for about a year now to set up a group called Intel Media,” Huggers said “It’s a new division with new people — people we’ve hired from Apple, Netflix and Google. And it’s devoted to developing an Internet television platform.”
“We will have live television, catch-up television, on-demand, and a set of applications,” said Huggers. The hardware will also include a camera — which can be turned off — that will apparently watch users as they watch TV (including, possibly, for targeting ads). Huggers said one use case for the camera could include synchronizing viewing with viewers across the country for a “real social experience.” The camera could also theoretically recognize users in order to provide personalized show recommendations.
Discussing Intel’s plans at the Dive into Media conference, Huggers declined to name the service, which will launch later this year. He also suggested that Intel would try to do bundles “right,” and that “I don’t believe that the industry is ready for a la carte.” Which could mean content-specific bundles.
Huggers thinks Intel can deliver its pay TV service over the Internet without its users going over the data caps. Intel will use the HEVC video codec (H.265), which Huggers says can provide much better video, than H.264, currently used for most streaming video.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen at the Into Media conference, said cable companies focus on delivering voice, video and data inside the home, while wireless carriers deliver to people on the go. Dish wants to do both.
“We’d like to own a wireless network so we can give you a quality of service,” said Ergen. His company wants to use its 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum to create a wireless network to allow customers to access video content as well as voice and data inside and outside the home.
He said that Dish would like to partner with a wireless company to do that, but that if Dish cannot, it will look to sell its airwaves.
“We want to compete against both the cable guys and the wireless guys, and we want to do it inside the house and outside the house, and that’s why we think we need wireless spectrum.”
A trademark application filed by Dish last week requested the brand name “Racecar” for a wireless broadband service, which would be used for “wireless telephony and wireless broadband communications services for the transmission of voice, data, graphics and video.