The world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor products, Intel Corp. plans to launch a Web-based TV service for U.S.consumers, according to some newsgroups.
As proposed, the plan would let consumers get their shows on any Internet-connected device without subscribing to traditional cable and satellite TV services. The product could use an Intel set-top box and Intel’s name, and the chipmaker has told its potential partners it wants to start the service before the end of the year.
In addition to the set-top box, Intel has also supposedly developed and demonstrated a user interface for users to browse programs.
Intel’s maneuvers come as the broader television business undergoes a major shift, with people spending more time watching video on the Internet and mobile devices.
Recently, Sony Corp. and Dish Network Corp. had also planned to create such Internet TV services, but none appear on USENET newsgroup posts to be moving forward immediately.
Apple and Google have been less successful. Apple has tried to sell its own box, Apple TV, which allows for access to movies and TV shows via its iTunes store. It recently updated the device, which will soon sell for $99. And Google has partnered with device makers to get its Google TV technology into TVs and other consumer electronics.
Previously, the company was only involved by producing the chipset inside of the first generation of Google TV devices and the Boxee Box by D-Link. However, Intel ceased production of the chips for those (and other) set-top boxes back in October 2011.
Some media executives say they believe a real virtual cable service could be two or three years away at the earliest. Others are even more skeptical.