Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cloud Intel Television Entertainment

Intel's Attempt At A-La-Carte Television Hits Delays 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-as-you-go dept.
bill_mcgonigle writes "Updating the previous story, Forbes and Gigaom are now reporting that Intel is running an internal startup aimed at offering an internet-connected set top box with a-la-carte 'cable' channel subscriptions. They also apparently plan to record everything and offer all content on-demand. While some are skeptical that content providers will give up their cable cash cow and they've run into licensing problems already, perhaps the economic effects of cord-cutters will finally make this business model viable."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel's Attempt At A-La-Carte Television Hits Delays

Comments Filter:
  • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:11PM (#42456761)
    We had cable until COX took Turner Classic Movies off of analog cable and put it on digital cable, at which point we had enough. Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and Sci-Fi/SyFy were already on the way down but hadn't hit rock bottom yet.

    We don't miss it. Between XBMC, free content or ad-supported streaming content via our network-connected Blu-ray player, and free content via web browser, there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

    Cut the cord permanently.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Originally $150/mo going towards various TV things, now down to $35/mo myself as well. $0 soon enough.

      Roku + torrents + spotify + netflix + pandora + amazon prime -> no use for TV whatsoever.

      • by murdocj (543661)

        At one point during the "digital transition" my TV connection stopped working for month. Eventually it got fixed but I realized I didn't really miss it. Now I pay $24/mo instead of $70 and I can watch the occasional sports program, which is pretty much all I care for. Still not ready to cut it off completely but the cost is now pretty minimal.

      • Re:yep (Score:5, Informative)

        by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:45PM (#42457245)

        Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released. I would have even paid for it. Web accessable. I log in. I type in a show. Say I want it. Tada. Shows magically appear on my hard drive.

        I can put them on my phone, my tablet my laptop. XBMC indexes them they're available on my TV and projector.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released. I would have even paid for it. Web accessable. I log in. I type in a show. Say I want it. Tada. Shows magically appear on my hard drive.

          I can put them on my phone, my tablet my laptop. XBMC indexes them they're available on my TV and projector.

          Sweet, i got usenet, i will try it out. someone mod this nice person up.

        • Sickbeard is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released.

          I would use it, but the front page of shows is sending me a powerful message to stay away:

          Breaking Bad
          Criminal Minds
          Destroyed in Seconds

          • Your aversion to that particular content doesn't justify your aversion to the software.

            That's almost like saying "I don't like google.com, so I'm not going to use Firefox, since it can access that website."

    • by timeOday (582209)

      there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

      Well, there are sports. They are produced for TV, so they have big long pauses where there is nothing to do BUT watch ads.

      Speaking of which, those of you who pay $299.95 for one season of NFL Sunday Ticket Max(!!) what do they show during all the commercial game delays?

      • We get Dish Network's ESPN GameDay package, which is much less than that price but does give us all of the ESPN- and ABC-filmed college football games that aren't otherwise airing in our area.

        During the commercial breaks, they show just the funny ESPN college commercials. They do get a little old. Of course, since we're recording, we start with at least a 45-minute delay and don't have to watch that many of them.

        At halftime they cut to ESPN radio over screens showing scores and stats of all the day's game

      • by hawk (1151)

        Commercials.

        I have it because a friend pays so she can watch on her computer.

        I wouldn't do it myself, as beer at a sports bar is less expensive, anyway.

        hawk

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      At the beginning of the economic downturn, I took a pay cut (it was that or go look for a job -- good luck with that) and as a consequence we dropped several things, including cable TV. I bought an outside antenna (not allowed by our HOA, but I dared them to try to make me take it down, and they declined) and a roku box, and that plus netflix kept wife and daughter happy. (I watch close to zero tv, so it didn't matter to me either way.) Cable at the time was full ride with two DVR set top boxes, and dump

      • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:43PM (#42457547)
        I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month. We went through M*A*S*H, Star Treks TOS and TNG, a bunch of Doctor Who and Torchwood, Inspector Morse and Lewis, and we're halfway through Farscape, with La Femme Nikita and Babylon 5 to follow.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month. We went through M*A*S*H, Star Treks TOS and TNG, a bunch of Doctor Who and Torchwood, Inspector Morse and Lewis, and we're halfway through Farscape, with La Femme Nikita and Babylon 5 to follow.

          Hell, it can pay for new content in HD as well.

          Sure you have to wait a bit, but Season 2 of Game of Thrones will be out soon, and really, one month of cable and HBO will cover both sets as blu-ray. Free and legit, easie

        • I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month.

          That of course depends on what kind of programming you prefer. Political talk shows don't come in "seasons", and though professional and college sports are broadcast in "seasons", there's no market for box sets because the market is so spoiler-sensitive that it has to be broadcast with less than a 60 second delay. One family in my sample keeps cable for ESPN and the other sports channels, and another keeps cable for MSNBC, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, and C-SPAN2.

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      We had cable until COX took Turner Classic Movies off of analog cable and put it on digital cable, at which point we had enough. Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and Sci-Fi/SyFy were already on the way down but hadn't hit rock bottom yet. We don't miss it. Between XBMC, free content or ad-supported streaming content via our network-connected Blu-ray player, and free content via web browser, there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore. Cut the cord permanently.

      Dish cutting AMC was the last straw for me. Now I survive on Netflix streaming, Hulu and and Redbox along with what I buy in DVDs, Blu-ray and iTunes. I save a bundle every month and I don't miss all the lame cable channels. When you have 300 to 500 channels and nothing worth watching it's time for on demand!

    • there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

      Yet people pay for content that is ads. "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" by The New Seekers is a Coca-Cola commercial, "Summer Girls" by LFO is an Abercrombie commercial, and "Replay" by Iyaz is an iPod commercial. The 1989 film The Wizard is one big ad for Nintendo products that raked in $14 million at the box office.

  • I bet the first thing you'll be able to watch on this device is "Duke Nukem Forever: The Movie".
  • by picoboy (1868294) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:24PM (#42456827)

    Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

    So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

    And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agreements? Are they this completely incompetent as to think that Internet TV has anything at all to do with their fabulous semiconductor technology, instead of realizing it has everything to do with negotiation and leverage?

    The kool-aid must run strong...

    • by m00sh (2538182)

      the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever

      Or as little as a few days.

      Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

      Well the product isn't even out and you're foretelling failure?

      And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agr

    • by headhot (137860)

      Exactly my thought. They technology has been around to do this for a decade or more. Every tech company with a set top box has been dreaming about and trying to work out an agreement with the content industry to no avail.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

      It doesn't really matter. Arrogance aside, it's good for us the consumers that they're trying, even if they succeed partially or not at all. It's yet another sign to the content providers th

      • by irving47 (73147)

        Yeah, I was going to say the same. It's good Intel is trying... But as stated, the content providers like NBC are going to require the cablco's to include Bravo and USA and Syfy if you want MSNBC or vice versa. We'll probably end up with all this either in court or an FCC ruling...

        • the content providers like NBC are going to require the cablco's to include Bravo and USA and Syfy if you want MSNBC or vice versa.

          If it's a matter of bundling all of one content provider's channels, then why don't they let cable operators sell packages "all of Turner's basic channels", "all of NBCUniversal's basic channels", "all of Disney's basic channels", etc.? I can see requiring a subscriber to buy the Turner package before HBO, as Turner and HBO are both owned by Time Warner, but why should one have to buy Disney's ESPN to get Time Warner's HBO?

    • by jittles (1613415)

      Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

      So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

      And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agreements? Are they this completely incompetent as to think that Internet TV has anything at all to do with their fabulous semiconductor technology, instead of realizing it has everything to do with negotiation and leverage?

      The kool-aid must run strong...

      Simple. Intel will just add an instruction set to their processors that make bit torrenting easier, faster, and more reliable. That would scare the media companies into playing ball. ;)

  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:25PM (#42456831)
    I mean, net neutrality is nice and all, but I hardly think that Google and ATT will just roll over and let Intel use their backbone fiber without a fight.
  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @08:35PM (#42456881)

    When almost everything consumers already have hooked up to their TVs (game consoles, TiVos, blu-ray players, hell even the TVs themselves now) are able to stream media over the internet, it's becoming less and less necessary to have a cable subscription. It doesn't take long to get over the "OMG I CAN'T WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE OF [new show] TONIGHT" feeling, and once that is gone the wealth of streaming-available content is overwhelming.

    Assuming they already have a broadband connection (which most people do), for under $20/month plus the initial outlay for an antenna, people can have access to Netflix ($7.99), Hulu Plus ($7.99), YouTube (free), and broadcast TV (free). Unless someone is really addicted to one particular cable channel, that's an extremely hard offer to beat and will offer far, far, far more choices than anyone could ever get through.

    As more and more people realize this and get rid of their cable subscriptions, more cable networks will put their shows on Netflix/Hulu/Youtube and cable TV will fade away.

    • by Dan667 (564390) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:26PM (#42457157)
      the mpaa and riaa are still suing people who download stuff online so don't get your hopes up. If I was a stockholder I would be pissed at movie and tv companies missing the boat in moving to internet distribution. Only music is half way decent because Apple (and Amazon) dragged them kicking and screaming while throwing huge wads of cash at their faces (which I am actually surprised they accepted, the riaa only cares about control). Idiots.
      • by jroysdon (201893)

        I'm not a lawyer, blah, blah. However, last I checked, they can't sue you for downloading, only uploading (by default, most BitTorrent clients are going to upload).

        Even if they could go after you for downloading, there are plenty of Binary USENET providers that offer bundled VPN service.

        Plenty of DVR solutions have been out for years [lifehacker.com] which will automate downloading of all your favorite shows via USENET services. Game over for the media companies a long time ago for anyone with a technical clue.

        Now that Co

      • the mpaa and riaa are still suing people who download stuff online so don't get your hopes up.

        I can see this for movies: a producer needs MPAA money to afford the production values that most people expect in a feature film that isn't one of a few novelty movies such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. But as for music, on what grounds can the labels in the RIAA sue people who choose to download recordings under a Creative Commons license or other recordings whose copyright is not owned by an RIAA member?

    • by balsy2001 (941953)
      My wife and I gave up cable over six years ago. Once you go through the "de-tox" you really don't miss it that much. The only thing that still gets me is there isn't a good alternative for is sports. Mostly I miss college basketball (football is on broadcast TV). I would love an A-La-Carte cable option. I would pay $20 per month for the 5-10 channels I want most (ESPN 1...n and some stuff for the kids). I just won't pay north of $100-200 a month for the whole package.
      • Strangely enough, I kinda missed the commercials.

        It's a little awkward being in a conversation where someone says "Oh yeah, like that commercial with the guy and the duck and the jetpack!" and everybody else laughs for some reason you can't fathom. You then have two choices: 1) Smug up the place with comments about how you cut the cord and it's so much better and blah blah hipsterblah 2) Fake it and chuckle along weakly in a quiet, merry lie.

        Plus, some of the commercials on the tube are really amusing.

        • > Strangely enough, I kinda missed the commercials.

          Me too! I have a DVR to record movies and an occasional show from the cable TV. Usually I fast-forward through ads, but sometimes I watch ones that look funny.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I think the important point is that the clock is ticking, both for the infrastructure and content providers. The ones that continue to cling to the old business model have a limited lifespan.

    • by crow (16139)

      What we need is for the networks to start offering channel subscriptions streaming without a cable company. Sell directly to the consumers. It would be easy for some of the local sports channels (like NESN or YES) to do this. Others would probably insist on the same package deals that they push on the cable companies (so, perhaps, Viacom would let you stream all of their channels for $9.99/month).

      Now the question is whether they would get more money from people subscribing directly, or less due to the nu

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        It would be easy for some of the local sports channels (like NESN or YES) to do this. Others would probably insist on the same package deals that they push on the cable companies (so, perhaps, Viacom would let you stream all of their channels for $9.99/month).

        The problem is that number would likely be $19.99/month, while regional sports channels would want around $10/month, and Disney would wan't $29.99/month for all it's content (ESPN, etc.).

        Even with "low" prices like $10/month for all of Viacom, you'd end up at pretty much the same prices as today if you wanted just one channel from a content owner, since you'd have Universal, Disney, Discovery networks, etc., each wanting their $10. Although you might be able to get away with $40/month or so if you wanted s

    • A large part of the problem is simply overcoming inertia and a lack of awareness.

      I heard a story a few months back from my parents. Around that time they had a couple in their mid-to-late 30s over for dinner, and over the course of the conversation, the wife apparently made a comment about how expensive cable TV is, asking my parents what their approach to it was. My parents informed her that they used an antenna to pick up broadcast TV, and that though the selection wasn't as good, it was entirely free and

    • by antdude (79039)

      What about sports and their blackouts like with NBA League? :P

    • True except for one five-letter word: Sport. Yes, yes; great unwashed, bread and circuses for the masses, but until that nut can be cracked, the majority in the US won't be cutting the cord.
  • Just wait until someone tells them they have to meet those requirements too. Trust me, with modern streaming technologies that is a tricky bit of legal mandate to comply to, and quite expensive too.
    • by headhot (137860)

      Its been done. Ive seen it work.

    • by RevDisk (740008)
      Users will have to enter that they are in the US or not. If so, state and zip. Done. Streams from a list of specified "emergency broadcast" servers if anything comes up.

      You should see the stuff they can do with SMS alerts. Quite nice. I got a few for flash flooding, which came in handy.

      My electric company is starting to do the same thing for power outages. You can tell it to give you a play by play, or tell it to shut up for X hours. "Your power is out. - Crew on location. Should be up in an hour or s
  • Oh man I *so* hope this kinda thing takes off somehow, even if Intel's specific version of it doesn't make it... keep plugging away at it, because this is what cable TV *should* be. Without all the craptastic bundling - if a chan or a show isn't popular, then let it die. Let alone, driving a wedge between content and infrastructure.... but thats probably a job for the regulators.

  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headhot (137860) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:20PM (#42457127) Homepage

    Intel managed to make themselves look completely clueless and oblivious to the market. If it were so easy, Apple would have done this 5 years ago with the AppleTV, that was their plan to begin with.
    Ala carte over the top is the holy grail that every tech company has been chasing. Google, MS, Apple, Sony, Netflix, Tivo, Roku, Nitendo, anyone with an box with an internet connection and a tv output.
    All of them have been stymied because it would be the end of big contents business model. Making people pay for content they don't want or need and running adds on it.

    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by balsy2001 (941953) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:52PM (#42457279)
      Exactly, and they won't change until enough people cut the cord. When there are enough of us, they will be forced to change their behavior. As I see it, they can get nothing from me or they can offer me the product I want for a reasonable price. For me that product is A-La-Carte programming for around $1 per channel per month (except ESPN which I would probably pay several times that).
    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      Intel managed to make themselves look completely clueless and oblivious to the market. If it were so easy, Apple would have done this 5 years ago with the AppleTV, that was their plan to begin with. Ala carte over the top is the holy grail that every tech company has been chasing. Google, MS, Apple, Sony, Netflix, Tivo, Roku, Nitendo, anyone with an box with an internet connection and a tv output. All of them have been stymied because it would be the end of big contents business model. Making people pay for content they don't want or need and running adds on it.

      Wow! No more reality TV? Where do I sign up! I gave up my cable TV in July over the Dish hissy fit with AMC and gave up on broadcast around the first of October. I have several streaming services as well as what I want to buy. Everyone else is left out in the cold including all those advertisers selling those anti fart medicines and adult diapers. My expenses went from a $120 a month to less than $20 a month not counting the $20 or $30 a month I spend to buy movies and TV series. I'm paying less than half t

  • at least put sports on there own and have theme packs for the other stuff.

  • So long as the content producers make more money from linear channels (regardless of the distribution medium, be it cable, satellite, fiber, whatever) than they would make through a-la-carte content distribution (subscriptions, individual program purchases, whatever) they wont change.

    Remember that for any given piece of content, there is almost certainly a non-zero number of people who are paying for the content (through their package) but who do not consume the content. The amount of money that content pro

  • Instead of trying to force the content providers (networks) to allow ala carte, why don't we go directly to the content creators, the people who produce shows that may be picked up by the networks, and present them with a convenient, well-integrated outlet to consumers that bypasses the networks entirely?

    I know, to a certain extent this is already being done, but I'm thinking that Intel (in this example) should be going directly to Chuck Lorre, J. J. Abrams, Tim Kring, et al, and say "how would you like to

Science and religion are in full accord but science and faith are in complete discord.

Working...