Intel's TV plans likely to be delayed by a year

Trouble striking up content deals with media companies means Intel’s plans for an internet-based TV service and hardware is unexpectedly delayed.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Intel was hoping to launch its TV service by the end of 2012, but the roadmap is now uncertain. One prediction is that Intel will launch the product by the middle of this year, however, another, speaking with the WSJ, said that it might not appear until the fourth quarter.

People familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported, said that Intel’s pitch is to operate as a cable operator over the web, so TV channels could work across the country but over the web rather than traditional cable and satellite TV bundles.

As a result, Intel is unlikely to publicly disclose any details of its TV content plans at CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world. Instead, the company is expected to talk up new mobile and PC chips.

TV is another area Intel is trailing behind British rival ARM Holdings, which has long been central to providing chip IP to chip makers who sell to set top box manufacturers. It has attempted to kick start a TV service in collaboration with Google, but that fell apart – and since, Google’s products shipped with designs from ARM. Although Google and Apple both have TV products on the market they have yet to capture the imagination of the consumer.

Since 2011, Intel has been talking up its Intel Insider service which allows partner websites to stream full HD films for machines with Intel processors. But licensing full content for your own services and hardware can prove difficult because of pre-existing deals with other companies and providers, as evidenced in the UK – where Netflix and Lovefilm had to work around exclusivity deals with different content houses and digital TV services such as Sky and Virgin.

Because this is regional, successfully building up international and comprehensive services can take a lot of time, although the scarce alleged details of Intel’s plans are to operate in the USA first.

According to a television executive, speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Intel has reached one content deal, but the partner is unknown.