) is rumored to be developing a set-top box that will incorporate
streaming video and traditional pay-TV services.
has an interesting rundown on the concept, adding to the previous
The Wall Street Journal
The most interesting feature of the new "service" (if you can
call it that) could come in the form of DVR-free recording.
According to TechCrunch: "Supposedly Intel's technology could allow
people to recall and watch any programming aired in the last month
on the channels they subscribe to. That means no worrying about
scheduling what to record. You could pull up a new show from last
night that friends raved about, a sports game you forgot about, or
all the recent reruns of a favorite cartoon."
In theory, that feature could be very successful -- but at what
cost? Consumers already have several freebie options (Hulu,
ABC.com, etc.) and paid options (Hulu Plus or pay-TV on-demand)
available. At the same time, TiVo (NASDAQ: TVIO) subscribers pay
$14.99 per month or a one-time fee of $499.99, plus the cost of the
device. If Intel could eliminate this expense and offer shows and
sporting events not featured on Hulu or Comcast (NASDAQ:
) On Demand, consumers would be very interested in its product.
Intel is unlikely to offer a cheaper option, however. Rather, it
will merely sell a different product and service at a different
price. In the long run, consumers may end up spending just as much
as they used to, if not more.
If Intel provided viewers with an unbeatable set-top box, the
higher price might be justifiable. However, Intel faces the same
obstacles as everyone else.
Dish Network (NASDAQ:
) got into trouble after it gave consumers the power to
skip the commercials
of recorded TV. How will Intel convince content providers that it
should be allowed to archive a month's worth of TV content? In
doing so, the value of those commercials may be greatly diminished
-- even if they cannot be skipped.
Some production companies and TV networks have been fearful of
the digital transition, particularly Hulu. Why would CBS (NYSE:
), which has yet to provide Hulu and Netflix (NASDAQ:
) with full licensing deals, allow Intel to come in and record a
month's worth of content?
Time Warner's (NYSE:
) Turner Broadcasting -- which owns TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network
and other cable networks -- said that it would not
make Comcast angry
by putting its content online for anyone to view.
These are just a few of the hurdles Intel must overcome if it
expects to produce a successful set-top box. When all is said and
done, the company must still come up with an excuse for consumers
to buy the device.
Investors are only marginally interested in the rumor. Intel is
currently up more than one percent. The company is down more than
17 percent year-to-date.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.
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