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Intel To Launch Paid Web TV Service With Set-Top Box

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the watching-you-watching-tv dept.

Intel 70

New submitter kdryer39 writes "In an unexpected but kind-of-makes-sense move, chip-maker Intel has decided to delve into the TV world by creating a set-top box and a paid Internet television service. The box will contain an HD camera and microphone for various 'novel applications.' Intel expects to provide various live and on-demand content, as well as re-inventing the wheel by changing the way people search for content. How will they do this, and where will they get the content from? Unfortunately, we don't know...and apparently neither does Intel. Erik Hugger, head of the newly-created Intel Media group, has stated that negotiations with content providers are in process, but gave no specific details. Is this an effort for the company to re-invent itself? Perhaps, but either way, it'll be one of those things that will be interesting to follow as it develops." The "novel applications" for the on-board camera include identifying who's watching the TV and providing programming it thinks they'll like. At one point, Huggers said, "There's a scenario where the TV recognizes that it's you and says 'Hey, I know what you like. I know what you want to watch', versus the environment we're in today where the TV literally is not interested in you at all.' Maybe I'm getting old, but I like that my appliances aren't particularly interested in me. (Haven't they seen Maximum Overdrive?!)

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70 comments

Not going to happen. (4, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42878799)

Let me start off by predicting failure.

Look, itâ(TM)s been tried. Apple, Microsoft, others⦠The Cable Giants have the real estate, mind share, contracts with entertainment producers, and they are not giving it up. Indeed, many of the cable giants OWN the content producersâ¦

Not going to happen.

Re:Not going to happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42878835)

Absolutely! Remember those Roku things? Study them to see what happens when you go up against Big Content.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42879325)

Um, we're actually using so many of these Roku things we have to argue over who gets the two Netflix feeds and who has to use HuluPlus. Sometimes we explore the other stuff, and there's an awful lot of amazing stuff in there. They're fantastic and cheap at twice the price. I don't know why they didn't beef it up and put Android on it.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year ago | (#42879907)

Hah we're watching it right now. I ant imagine there's that much money in selling a tiny linux box though.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42880309)

I don't suppose Roku puts a channel on their box for free. They probably get a back-end cut of the subscriptions or something.

Re:Not going to happen. (4, Insightful)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a year ago | (#42878889)

I know i wont buy one i don't want my TV spying on me. I know what i want to watch and when i don't , I enjoy flicking through the channels. I don't need yet another advertiser spying on what i do and try to tell me its for my own good. Nope not happening

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about a year ago | (#42879713)

You could always just stick some tape or something over the camera if it bugs you that much.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42881117)

Or (and I know this may sound kinda extreme and too "out there"), you can simply choose not to buy it.

Have you ever heard of the concept of "voting with your money"? If you don't like a product, or some of its quirks, you simply don't buy it, to reduce the incentive for companies to come up with shitty crap that nobody wants.

Re:Not going to happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42885683)

You could always just stick some tape or something over the camera if it bugs you that much.

So waddya say when you get that anonymous phone call politely telling you that they can't see you thru the old dirty sock you threw over the camera lens?????

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#42879719)

Your cable company already knows what you watch. Even on analog cable they can monitor signal strength and reflections and get a good idea of who's tuned into what.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a year ago | (#42901709)

I'm sure they do, but don't advertise it since they are not allowed to by law. We wouldn't have the 200+ channels we have because the advertisers wouldn't advertise on channels where no one is watching.

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42890483)

I know i wont buy one i don't want my TV spying on me.

Given your grammar and spelling, one wonders if you are a typical product of the American educationa system, or simply a moron?

Re:Not going to happen. (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a year ago | (#42901581)

lazy is more like it but you are a true troll congrats there all mistakes were on purpose just for you feel better now

Re:Not going to happen. (4, Informative)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#42878915)

And those giants are also ISPs, so don't think they'll give higher caps so you can stream their competition

Re:Not going to happen. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879003)

Strange, pretty much the same things were said about Apple entering the phone market....

Apple has yet to make serious play , but their Apple TV is starting to sell in reasonably serious numbers for a "hobby".

My DVD collection is growing because I am getting sick of the adverts, they are all ripped to my Mac Mini which has a 12TB RAID array attached to it so my movies and TV series stream really well to the multiple Apple TVs we have. We are all watching less and less live TV.

And at the moment I buy DVDs from 2nd hand shops for $3 each so my collection can be huge at sod all cost.

Apple could do a lot more to tidy up how the Apple TV handles hundreds/thousands of movies TV shows, but that will come with time and I think that the TV shows will simply come out to DVD quicker. For the $100-$150 a month I could be paying a satellite provider for TV I will settle for Freeview and use the free cash to buy the stuff that I want on DVD.

Re:Not going to happen. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42880039)

Same thing all over again.

First, all of you need to understand that world is a lot bigger than you think. USA is just a part of it, with it's cable networks. The rest of 7.7 billion people really do not dig this cable stuff. That is (partly) why torrent sharing is so successful.
Secondly, XBMC has already done it, and it is free.
Thirdly, thefact that big money does not want to back down simply means that we have not made them realise that they can not step in our living room as they please. Therefore, wote with your money, and things will go the way you want it.

Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42878869)

Camera is so there is a constant feed to Chat Roulette.

Oh great. Just what I needed. (4, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#42878901)

"Hi there! This is Bippy, your personal interactive video helper! I see you have your pants off! Shall I show you what's on Cinemax?"

Re:Oh great. Just what I needed. (2)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about a year ago | (#42878995)

More like,"Hi there! This is Bippy, your personal interactive video helper! I see you have your pants off! Would you like me to open a Spice subscription for you? I already have all of your personal and billing information available, I just need your verbal acknowledgement."

Re:Oh great. Just what I needed. (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#42880107)

More like,"Hi there! This is Bippy, your personal interactive video helper! I see you have your pants off! Would you like me to open a Spice subscription for you? I already have all of your personal and billing information available, I just need your verbal acknowledgement."

How about, in a huskier female voice:

``Welcome to the Spice Channel Trial Package deep immersion experience. Just sit back and relax as our girls blast you off. Let us know how you like it and we'll make sure your service is uninterrupted.''

On the lower part of the screen is a Question Mark.

`Hi. My name is Bippy and welcome to your subscription to the free Spice Adult immersion experience. If any time before this free trial is over you are not happy with this service please feel free to contact me and I'll walk you through on how to cancel your subscription.''

In the lower corner in fine print, ``All subscriptions are presumed active unless otherwise specifically deselected by walking through the deactivation of subscription survey required before we remove this service from your account.''

Meanwhile, you're too busy with your pants down to notice or care until you get a bill with some interesting surcharges on your television service package, during the second month and first day after you never cancelled your free trial subscription.

Re:Oh great. Just what I needed. (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#42882175)

Followed by a little avatar with cauliflower ears and a 5 o'clock shadow: "Yo! This is Vinny! It'd be a shame if your wife and boss found out about dat program youse was watchin' the udder night. Hows about you sign up for our privacy protection program?"

Re:Oh great. Just what I needed. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42882259)

More like,"Hi there! This is Bippy, your personal interactive video helper! I see you have your pants off! Would you like me to open a Spice subscription for you? I already have all of your personal and billing information available, I just need your verbal acknowledgement."

Naturally while this happens a preview of the Spice channel will be playing on screen.

Enticing bimbo: "Oh yeah, do it! Do it now!"
Bippy: "Thank you for subscribing to Spice. Your credit card has been debited. Would you like to see a selection of toys and cleaning materials from our partners?"

Re:Oh great. Just what I needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42886201)

"any word will suffice to confirm .. for you convenience, silence is also taken as agreement"

Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#42878905)

LOL, i wonder, what kind of idiot would fall in this trap.....wait a minute, but, but, they are EVERYWHERE!!!

Re:Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42878985)

It's one thing to have the CCTV camera mounted on the outside of buildings, watching the hotel lobby, watching the passengers on the bus or watching traffic patterns but anything put in my home with a TV camera that I couldn't control would soon have a piece of black electrician's tape placed over the lens.

Don't want anyone seeing me and critiquing my tinfoil hat.

Re:Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42879347)

There is a camera you don't really control pointed at your face every time you talk on a smartphone. And another one covering the 180 degree opposite view too. They're putting them in TVs and other appliance devices now.

Re:Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about a year ago | (#42879745)

Last I checked my smartphone didn't have a front facing camera, nor do I hold it in such a way that it would give a meaningful picture of my face - the best you'd get is a smudge of part of my ear.

Re:Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#42879769)

There is a camera you don't really control pointed at your face every time you talk on a smartphone.

So what's that going to tell them? That it's time to trim my ear hairs? And when I'm holding the phone to my ear, my hand is covering up the other camera, so they ain't getting nothin' but dark.

Re:Novel way of "The Big Brother Is WATCHING YOU" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879125)

LOL, i wonder, what kind of idiot would fall in this trap.....wait a minute, but, but, they are EVERYWHERE!!!

They are everywhere. They're the ones falling all over themselves to give away their privacy for some search results and a fart app.

Hmmm (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#42878921)

Products which provide something you didn't know you needed create successful new markets. Products which provide something you know you don't want, don't. This is the latter (for me, anyway).

Cameras (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42878931)

Listen, Corporate Overlords, you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"? The first week of every car I've ever owned is spent taking apart the dashboard and removing that feature, and then pulverizing it with a hammer and throwing the remains on a base of burning coals. I shit you not, I'm serious about that crap.

Try putting cameras and microphones in things, and you'll find them equally under-appreciated in my household. That is, assuming I feel there are no better choices on the market... if even one of your competitors opts out, that's where my dollars go. Don't tempt me.

Signed, Interested Customer

Re:Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879073)

Listen, Corporate Overlords, you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"? The first week of every car I've ever owned is spent taking apart the dashboard and removing that feature, and then pulverizing it with a hammer and throwing the remains on a base of burning coals. I shit you not, I'm serious about that crap.

Try putting cameras and microphones in things, and you'll find them equally under-appreciated in my household. That is, assuming I feel there are no better choices on the market... if even one of your competitors opts out, that's where my dollars go. Don't tempt me.

Signed, Interested Customer

For all the legitimate reasons to NOT want your tv equipment spying on you, the best example you could come up with is destroying your car's ability to remind you that you are an idiot and you might want to turn your headlights off if you plan to start your car in the morning, or that the strap of material hanging to your left wasn't put there to look cool and might actually save your life?

Seems that before you so viciously removed its voice, your car was right on the money. You are an idiot. Hopefully you didn't learn how to use that strap of material hanging to your left.

Re:Cameras (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year ago | (#42879307)

I'm not fond of those bells and buzzers either, but I'm not so angry about them that I have to destroy things.

Instead, I just read the owner's manual and followed the instructions to disable them. What, you can't disable them on your car without the destruction, and you hate them that much, and yet you still bought that car? Why?

Re:Cameras (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about a year ago | (#42879793)

Listen, Corporate Overlords, you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"? The first week of every car I've ever owned is spent taking apart the dashboard and removing that feature, and then pulverizing it with a hammer and throwing the remains on a base of burning coals. I shit you not, I'm serious about that crap.

Or you could, you know, turn the lights off and buckle up. It's illegal in most developed countries to not buckle up. Also, it takes you a week to dismantle a dashboard?

Re:Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42880271)

Also, it takes you a week to dismantle a dashboard?

Brand new car? Never taken it apart? Don't want to break anything?
Doesn't sound like a "power through it in thirty minutes" kind of thing for non-car people.

Re:Cameras (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year ago | (#42884491)

Do I have to buckle up the box of books that triggered 'A person must be in this seat', so you have to buckle up sensor.

Only, that sensor doesn't activate until you are already driving, so you will be on the road, and a loud pinging will start, and you will wonder just what the hell went wrong with your car, glancing at your dash to see what light came on. DId you leave the emergency brake on? Crap, maybe it's the engine.

In the meantime, what you aren't doing is giving your full attention to the road. Eventually you might figure out that the beeping is because the 'boxperson' sitting next to you isn't buckled in. So you have to pull over and connect the buckle to stop the damned distracting noise.

Look, no person in my car rides without a seatbelt, and it is damned annoying to have that sensor trip whenever I don't happen to notice that whatever I put in the seat exceeded some threshold.

Re:Cameras (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42882317)

It's actually illegal not to belt up in the UK, so that warning is pretty useful. Especially if you have kids.

Having left my lights on a couple of times I installed a warning alarm.

Re:Cameras (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#42885097)

you know that little buzzer or dinger that goes off incessantly whenever I leave the lights on or don't buckle up and you think it's a "feature"?

It's absolutely a feature. Unlike the good ol' days I no longer mistakenly leave my lights on (although it's always been a big of a puzzle to me why the lights don't turn off with the ignition, like the wipers and fan, but whatever), never leave the key in the ignition and I always wear my seatbelt, so the seatbelt beep is irrelevant.

PS Oh yeah and next time just pull out the fuse. While I'm sure the hammer and coals and all that is cathartic, it's rather unnecessary.

TV is uniteresting anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42878953)

I found the statement "TV that is interested in you" to be delusional. TV is slowly declining among the average viewer, but the the media or press seems to be obsessed with a lot of the crap they show anymore. I question the ratings numbers anymore due to the many outlets of media that watch then write reports.

Facebook has shown them the way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879061)

"There's a camera pointing at me? I'm on television? I'm the center of attention? Where do I sign?"

I don't know if people have recently become more narcissistic than previously, or if it's just that there are more tools available to help people indulge their narcissistic side, but the fact is almost everyone in the west now seems desperate to be a celebrity.

So don't go writing-off this idea just yet.

Stalking (4, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#42878999)

This open us up to a whole new way of stalking!

No more will we be going through people's garbage to find out about them. We will pint out pictures of their faces, wear them as masks and see what they like watching when they are alone.

Hmm its 6 o'clock, I wonder what Natalie Portman would like to watch?

Re:Stalking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879133)

roflmao

The way you think scares me just a bit...

But that IS pretty damn funny.

Re:Stalking (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year ago | (#42879223)

Hmm its 6 o'clock, I wonder what Natalie Portman would like to watch?

Something involving statues and hot grits, I would guess...

ISP can just data cap to jam this up also why a ot (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42879103)

ISP can just data cap to jam this up also why there own box and not just a software that can be loaded on to any pc?

Network them! (4, Funny)

deimtee (762122) | about a year ago | (#42879141)

If they talked to each other they could play your preferences wherever you are. Think of the fun when you are visiting family and the TV starts playing.
"Is that yours?"
"Nope, not mine. Dad?"
"Never seen it before"
"Uncle Fred have you been watching this stuff?"
"Uh-uh, not me, I don't like midgets"
All together : "GRAAAANDMAAAA!!! "

"1984" Telescreen (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#42879185)

All this device needs now is for it to be impossible to shut it off, and for the audio volume to be possible to reduce slightly, but never fully silenced,

I know I will be looking for that corner of the room that the lens can't see.

They can use something like jinni.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879207)

Jinni is a semantic search and recommendation engine, it would be interesting to see this integrated into a set-top box.

If this is 'interested in me', count me out... (2)

aklinux (1318095) | about a year ago | (#42879215)

I am getting irritated with Youtube , and other services lately, that are making recommendations to me based on what I looked at in the past.

Just because it caught my interest once, does NOT mean I'm looking for a steady diet of it. So a 'cute cat' video caught my attention once... I DO NOT want to see a list of 100 'cute cat' videos staring me in my face the next time I go into YouTube!!

Awkward.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879219)

Well that's fun until you sit down to watch with the teenager and you hear - 'hey johnny! I know you like lesbian decaptation tentacle porn - got it queued up and ready to go!"

All kidding aside - let's not kid ourselves by saying this is anything more than a lead in to the "this content is only licensed for one person, or X Person"
"You need to purchase more licenses" or "you; Person Y are not authorized to watch this"

'Hey, I know what you like.' (1)

jralls (537436) | about a year ago | (#42879221)

Does that mean that when I walk into a room with a suitably equipped TV, it will turn off?

Of course it will work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42879231)

because Intel is so entrepreneurial!

Great idea- wish I had thought of that!

(I am being sarcastic in case anyone didnt figure that out)

"Set Top Box" Makes No Sense (4, Insightful)

Arcady13 (656165) | about a year ago | (#42879263)

Look. We all have flat panel televisions now. Exactly how are we supposed to put these boxes on top of them?

You need to call these something else.

Under set box?
Accessory box?
Smart TV box?

Or start building a shelf on top of the TV.

Probably will fail because... (2, Insightful)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | about a year ago | (#42879411)

Intel is kind of a no compromise company. They want the power..and the margins. Look at the rest of their businesses:
  They own a huge chunk of the margins on PCs and servers, and basically dictate to OEMs what their products will be.
  They kicked Nvidia out of the chipset/motherboard market because, y'know, can't have that.
  They wouldn't budge on prices for chips in the original Xbox, which doomed it to failure and havn't sniffed the console market since.
  They're in and out of mobile, mostly because they can't line up any partners.

And now they're going to play nice with the content/distribution cartels? The path to their door it littered with the corpses of start-ups and wunderkinds that only needed the Ace of Content for the staight flush.

Don't blame me if I don't hold my breath there.

Re:Probably will fail because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42880019)

Yeah, whatever happened to nForce controllers? They were the shit back in the day.

Re:Probably will fail because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42883715)

here, i corrected your typo.

"They were shit back in the day."

Re:Probably will fail because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42880417)

Microsoft squeezed Xbox suppliers to the point where it was not really worth it to be a microsoft supplier. Microsoft got what it paid for and ended up replacing almost every xboxl (Red Ring of Death Debacle). My Xbox got a free replacement twice !

Seriously? Pay for internet content? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#42879829)

I mean honestly, what century are we in? Who pays for internet content anymore? Who wants the content created and distributed by the media cartels? The cartels are becoming less and less relevant and Intel is really swinging at shit in the dirt with this device.

Even if Intel manages the impossible and talks the media cartels into playing nicely with it, who would want to care about 'Intel Inside' set top boxes? Especially with cameras and microphones in them (that's some stupid and scary shit). Every ISP has a cheap, viable, simple alternative .. it's a flooded market and Intel isn't even near entering it yet.

This isn't a problem you can just 'throw money at' and make it work. If you gave these boxes away, people wouldn't pay the subscription. The cameras are the only thing which makes this device different and (possibly) interesting to a small market. Sure, every parent in the world is going to be suspicious and just about anyone who walks around their house naked or sleeps on the couch won't want one .. but there are some people who would really love having a plug-in box with video chat on the television (and perhaps some interactive games). That's the only thing which is going to make this device work .. and it sounds like that's not what Intel installed the camera for!

The whole project screams as a great idea for 1965 and a scary implementation of big brother idiocy from a company flailing and panicing about what? ONLY being the largest chip manufacturer in the world?

Mr Hugger, find yourself a new job while the getting is good!

Re:Seriously? Pay for internet content? (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#42880259)

I'd pay for internet content ... if I was certain it was of good quality ahead of time, and worth the price. Very little actually is. Oh, and it has to work on BSD and Linux.

Each episode $9.95 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42880059)

I once calculated that an advertiser paid some small part of a penny per watcher to play a 30 second ad. Multiplying up, this should mean that a watcher could pay maybe 10 cents to see a 1/2 hour sitcom and that would cover all the costs and profits to deliver a show from production to me seeing on my TV via cable or over-the-air.

That's not the price I see for downloadable single episodes of ANYTHING. I'd happily pay (say) $0.50 to watch 2 hours of TV without commercials. I'm not paying $4.99 or $8.99 to watch a 1/2 hour sitcom ONCE with DRM to make sure I don't watch it again.

So I'm back to ignoring the commercials.

Variety is the spice of life (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#42880393)

The entire reason I ever watch TV at all anymore is for something unexpected, even sometimes to watch the latest commercials. If i know what I want ahead of time, I'll watch it on netflix or something. If I want some random entertainment I sit in front of the TV, please don't take that away from me.

interested appliances (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year ago | (#42880461)

"Maybe I'm getting old, but I like that my appliances aren't particularly interested in me."

Well, I'm not old, but I still don't like such trends. I could settle with something like optional voice-based identification (i.e. on demand, when you explicitely say you want to be identified), but other than that, thanks but no thanks. And, maybe I'm weird that way, but I don't like to have a device in my home that has a hd camera, is enabled to automatically identify me, and be internet-connected. Such a device can be hacked, used for other purposes (e.g. is anyone home?), and is basically untrustable. And if I can't trust it, there's no way I'm buying it.

One of those embarasing moments (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#42880931)

Friends are over.
'Hey, I know what you like. I know what you want to watch'
Donkey pr0n episode #117 !:-//

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