Intel is best known as a chip maker for desktops and laptops. For years, the tech giant has supplied millions of microprocessors to personal computers across the globe. Yet anyone in the industry knows that success is fleeting and continuous innovation is required to stay on top. Intel’s latest bid for advancement seems to have pushed the company towards the home entertainment space. Here the company is set to grab the spotlight and release its own consumer product called the OnCue Intel TV.
OnCue is meant to be a replacement for the existing set-top boxes given by cable providers. Content will be streamed over the Internet and subscribers will enjoy a more responsive user interface. A new division, Intel Media, was tasked to develop the product and handle negotiations with cable networks. Its operations have been isolated from the rest of the company to try to keep things a secret for as long as possible. Of course, the media eventually got wind of it and now Intel appears to be ready to spill a few details about the project.
Intel gave a tentative launch date this fall, if everything goes according to plan. It isn’t ready to announce the networks that will get on board except to say that they are casting a wide net. There will be customized bundles but people will not be able to fine-tune their subscriptions to individual channels. Intel is taking a cautious approach with regards to the rollout. The service will initially be made available to certain cities then others will be added incrementally.
Asked about the subscription rates, Intel indicated that these will not differ much from current cable offerings. There are no concrete numbers at this point but the company gave assurances that the cost of the OnCue Intel TV box itself won’t be prohibitive.