Intel to Offer Cable TV Service, Delivered Online via Intel Chips

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Intel’s latest push is the all-important consumer battleground that have claimed the lives of so many companies: the living room television.

At CES next week, the chip giant is reportedly preparing to show off its latest venue for their x86 CPUs – smart TV and cable boxes. Intel has been interested in the scene for a while, and each year at CES, at least some small corner of their booth is dedicated to Intel CPUs and the television.

With Google TV an utter failure to this point, however, and future releases likely to run some flavor of ARM chip, Intel is desparate to avoid ceding any further ground to alternatives like the Apple TV, Boxee TV, or WD TV.

Intel TV

What really sets this news apart from Intel’s previous attempts, however, is the length to which it goes. The Wall Street Journal broke the news earlier this year that Intel is prepping to launch a content distribution service, like a virtual cable company that anyone with an Internet connection can get.

Other companies, like Microsoft, have tried to accomplish the same task. They failed, however, due largely to the Herculean task of getting content providers to go along with the idea. The cable industry as a whole has been skittish and generally abhorrent to change.  Intel is hoping to sidestep this issue by launching on a city or regional basis, which makes a lot more work for them, but also allows them to be a little more flexible as a result.

TechCrunch was reportedly told that Intel’s system would allow users to instantly access any content that had been sent by any of their subscribed channels at any point in the last month. It’s an interesting idea, and while it sounds slightly far-fetched, would immediately rid many users of the frustration of using a typical (terrible) cable company DVR. You missed a show last night? You’re covered. Want to show someone the news from a couple of days ago? Covered. A marathon of every Jeopardy episode for the last four weeks? You could do that, too.

Intel’s first press event is scheduled for next Monday, a day before CES starts. We’ll be on the ground, bringing you the news as it happens.

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