CHIPMAKER Intel is not withdrawing completely from the TV business, but has decided to shift its attention to set-top boxes and content gateways.
Yesterday we reported that Intel is leaving the TV business after its smart TV initiative failed get off the ground. Since then Intel has told The INQUIRER that, while it is winding down its digital TV operations, it will shift attention to Internet Protocol (IP) set-top boxes and multi-screen content dissemination.
According to Intel, the consumer electronics market for IP content delivery is worth its time and money, so much so that the company is merging its consumer electronics business into its Netbook and Tablet Group.
Intel's Smart TV venture would have, at least in theory, disposed of the set-top box as it is currently known. There's no doubt that delivering content over IP will continue to grow, but Intel's decision seemingly moves the firm away from companies like Samsung, Panasonic and LG, and straight into competition with set-top box makers such as Motorola.
According to Intel, it's not just about set-top boxes, with the firm claiming its Netbook and Tablet Group will use the experience from the consumer electronics group to build new technology into tablets, netbooks and hybrid devices.
Even with firms like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony working hard to get their 'connected TVs' and walled garden application stores up and running, the fact that you still have to use device a that is somewhere between a keyboard and a TV remote control is frustrating. Whereas viewing videos, interacting with applications and browsing the web is far more usable on laptops and tablets.
Effectively, what Intel is doing is trying to control the dissemination of content to devices, or as it would say, multiple screens. It apparently is taking a gamble that videos increasingly will be viewed on devices such as tablets rather than on the telly. µ