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Intel's IPTV dreams are hampered by haggling over content

Dates continue to slip
Wed Jan 02 2013, 19:11
An Intel logo on a piece of equipment

CHIPMAKER Intel reportedly is having trouble getting its IPTV service off the ground due to the media cartels haggling over content licensing.

Intel has been expected to get into the IPTV business by flogging chips in televisions and set-top boxes, however the firm is coming up against the content providers' desire to stick to antiquated licensing packages. According to the Wall Street Journal, Intel has only been able to secure one content licensing deal, while other content providers are cagey about wanting to do business with the chipmaker.

As Intel is aggressively trying to get the power usage of its chips down, the firm wants to see more of its parts end up in embedded applications with televisions seen as good way to not only flog chips but get a foothold in the lucrative content distribution market. However like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and many others before it, Intel is having trouble getting the content providers to realise that changes in the ways content is licensed will result in more money for all concerned.

According to the WSJ, Intel wants to alter the channel packages that content providers offer as part of licensing agreements, something that hasn't gone down well. Intel was reported to have wanted to launch its IPTV service at the end of 2012, but now it is being pegged for some time in the second half of 2013.

Intel's chips are unlikely to be the problem, after all its Medfield Atom chips have shown decent performance and power consumption characteristics in the far more demanding smartphone market. However the firm will need to provide a compelling content library if it wants to compete in the television market, because as Sony, Panasonic and Sharp have found out, simply putting out high quality hardware is not enough to make money.

Intel declined to comment on its IPTV plans. µ


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