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  • tonyn84 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    I would sign up for this in a heartbeat if it had the option for HBO. It would also be great if we could get true a'la carte programming, no more subsidizing crap with my monthly bill. Reply
  • smartthanyou - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Well it seems from the article that we won't get a la carte pricing. There is no reason to think Intel has somehow managed to get cable companies and content providers to completely change the way they do business.

    It will be interesting to see what Intel comes up with but I am not holding my breath. I am guessing it will have a few cool features but will be expensive and offer limited flexibility in regards to choosing channels.
  • arsena1 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Otherwise almost everything else is available via VOD or similar services. Live sports is the only thing that would make me go back to paying for TV service every month. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    And you already do, as well as all of us who don't watch any ESPN. You're welcome for subsidizing your sports --- well not anymore, I cut the cord 2 months ago and don't miss cable TV at all! Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Congratulations on your decision to keep more of your money in your pocket!

    I've been cable free for over two years now. I still have internet via cable modem, but I get my local content via free "over the air" HD programming and I get my movie fix using Netfix. I use Hulu (free) for just a couple of shows I watch as well.

    I even cut the cord on my over-priced cell phone contract. I was paying $54.00 for basic phone and text through Verizon. Now I use Page Plus (uses Verizon network). No contracts and for the 1200 plan, I get 1200 talk, 3000 text and 250 mb data for $29.95 mo. Go through Kittywireless and then you can use their free auto-renewal option. My CC gets billed each month just as before, but for 20.00 less. I've found the 250mb of data is more than enough for my needs, as I use wireless for most of my sync data.

    I do not work for them, but I'm a fan of saving money and passing on the opportunity to others.

    Best wishes on keeping more of your own money over the next four years.
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Depends how many talk minutes you need, but the Virgin Mobile plan is better IMO. 300 minutes of talk, unlimited text and data for $35. Uses the Sprint network, which seems good where I live (Centennial, CO). No reason not to get a smartphone at that price. You can use Ooma or Obi100 for a virtually free home phone, and this can greatly reduce the need for cell phone talk minutes. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    I've actually gone the other way, I used to get by on only ESPN and Netflix but Netflix has gone down the dumpers since that whole Kwikster debacle and huge Blu-Ray premium. Instead, I spend that $20/mo on the FIOS fully loaded package which gives me about a hundred HD premium channels as well as full access to ALL season episodes for premium subscriber channels like HBO, SHO, etc online, on-demand. Now that's win, much better than Netflix or even Hulu's partial libraries that don't include current season.

    That's why I think Intel (and Apple, Google, Netflix etc.) have already lost. The CableCos already have the content licenses with the content providers, most people don't want to pay again. I think Hulu is the only non-CableCo that has a chance because it's ties with Comcast/NBC Universal but I believe Comcast was forced to divest it's stake specifically for anti-trust concerns, not sure though.

    In any case, Intel has proven far from infallible lately. Their CPU business is still their bellwether, but they've shown they're very vulnerable outside of their core competencies (see: Larrabee, SSDs, Hydra etc).
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    According to Forbes, ESPN costs the cable company $5.13 per subscriber to carry, and ESPN2 is $0.68 per customer. TNT is the only channel that comes in at more than $1 per person, and that's around $1.10 or so. Given how high the costs are, I imagine that while a lot of people want ESPN (like myself), there are many that probably don't.

    I wouldn't be horribly surprised to see if the form of ala carte that would be offered up is something like a Sports Tier and a Non-Sports Tier. The Non-Sports people would save a lot of money just by hacking off ESPN, and the Sports people would be far happier to pay $25 a month for a sports package (say ESPN channels, NFL Network, regional Fox Sports channels) and skip everything else.

    Of course, if you're ESPN then I have some trouble seeing why you'd do this, when you can easily tell Intel and everyone "Look, everyone gets ESPN, or no one does" and then you probably have a huge issue getting people to pick you over cable. The only way I'd see ESPN being available like that is if they had their own distribution system, where you pay them $20 a month directly though their app, or website, and you stream to that app. No middle man to take profits, and their main risk is that cable companies would revolt against paying them so much when there is an alternative, but maybe they can figure that out.

    Ala Carte ESPN and sports is all I want, as I canceled cable when our kids were born and only miss it during football season, but I see a lot of impediments to it happening.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    That's fascinating, never realized ESPN had so much pull... I still subscribe to cable mainly for sports, as do a ton of enthusiasts I imagine. I mostly watch basketball (and they air 4-5 NBA games a week) but I do watch other sports at least once a month, plus stuff like Sportscenter, Sportsnation, etc.

    I think ESPN's probably limited by their own contracts with the different leagues and student sport associations tho... If they did anything that drew the ire of the cable companies it'd put those other deals in jeopardy, they got to where they are by being the de facto spot for sports on TV after all.

    Were premium channels like HBO/SHO included in that Forbes analysis, I'm still surprised the gap is that large. I guess their ad revenue driving potential is still than most tho, since sports is the only thing we'll willingly watch live.
  • saurabhr8here - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Not sure what the point of this article is, because it clearly seems that Anandtech is using its platform to push Intel PR. Intel announced the thing and we got to know about it through all news outlets, but there are absolutely no technical details. A'tech has a reputation for its in-depth technical analysis and I would be happy to read that once you guys get a product in your hands. Until then, please stop being like the rest of the tech media. Reply
  • nicmonson - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Maybe that Anand thinks this is something interesting and he wanted to post some of his own thoughts/questions on it. If you did not want to hear Anand's thought on the TV, you did not have to click on the article. It is not like is does this much anyhow. Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Did you post this on every pipeline article, or just this one about an Intel product? Reply
  • WhitneyLand - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Are you crazy?

    The best part of this site is when Anand gives his analysis and thoughts on interesting developments and that's what this is.

    Anyone can do benchmarks, the value of this site is the writers putting things into context. Using their insights and experience to make sense of things.
  • saurabhr8here - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I had anticipated some criticism for my comment. I did not want to sound rude, the only point was, Anandtech's strong point (my view and you might have a different opinion) is in-depth technical benchmarking. Not everyone can do benchmarks, at least not the way these guys do. Of course, I value how this site puts technology in perspective and that is the reason why I follow their articles.

    Everyone delves into 'rumors and speculations' these days before products are released, and yes, I do value Anand's comments/analysis but honestly, this article adds little value to what has been announced by Intel.

    And as someone responded to my comment saying I shouldn't have 'clicked' on the article, I read it because I follow Anandtech regularly and read at least the first two paragraphs of every article.

    Again, the purpose of my comment was not to incite a war of words, the article may have value to a lot of readers, I just wrote what I felt.
  • jjj - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Intel is trying to create markets for it's chips,that's why they are doing it but if they get deals with the media owners other will too and they can undercut Intel in price for the hardware+service.
    Short term the big problem is that too many in the US don't have fast enough connections and/or have caps greatly limiting what is possible..Without a huge head start ,they won't make any money long term.
    There is one way to do this and only one way. Free media Advertising and product placement can be a lot smarter on the internet, and sooner or later someone will aim this high and hit the target.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Unless intel has a dsp or some other solution that allows them to take file compression to a whole new level, I dont see why they bother with this. If indeed they are making some sort of breakthrough (10x more than the best we have now) this is a great way to capitalize on it! Imagine if it were possible to stream a netflix quality movie (about 2mbps) at under 200 kbps. I firmly believe that this is completely possible, but its going to take a serious hardware. Not necessarily a lot of processing power, just something well integrated, like quicksync. If the compression were done the way I'm thinking, they would need a very large NAND device on board. Look for 16-64GB (!) which would be used to store a very large library file.

    But of course, who am I kidding, this is frickin intel I'm talking about. Like they would actually get this right. Nope they'll blow it just like they did with atom, and hand billions over to apple and netflix in the process.
  • R0H1T - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    WTH are you talking about ? 10x compression, realtime at that, not gonna happen anytime this decade or even the next one unless you want some horrible looking HD shows ! Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    Dude. Video files are already compressed to the max. That's the whole point of encoding a video file. There's no magical algoritm that is going to compress an mp4 movie another 10x. Hell, there's nothing that will compress it another 10% Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    That's a very interesting question. My thoughts: they see embedded devices - especially those related to the sort of video decoding-heavy PC-lite applications exemplified by IPTV - as major computing need consumers have that is currently being serviced by Intel's competitors.

    By entering the IPTV STB market, they gain a few things right away: the potential to get people using embedded devices that aren't ARM-based; new customers for their own future low power SoCs; the potential to simultaneously activate and control a new market for devices that are going to be relatively compute intensive.

    In short, a major problem for Intel's current low power CPU/SoC strategy is that there is little interest in building devices around their future products. Entering this market creates opportunities for those devices.
  • twotwotwo - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    "Many expected Apple to be the first to tackle and succeed here. Perhaps Intel will beat them to the punch? (this helps answer question #1 above)."

    Yeah. What's remarkable to me is that they don't seem to trust a partner to do it -- maybe they're frustrated with what partners have been doing in the PC and tablet spaces.

    Content might be another reason Intel's involved. As a huge company with cash on hand, they may think they're in a good position to negotiate large, favorable content deals.

    As a user, I have trouble imagining it as a product I'd want to buy, but we'll see. Its competition all seems to be either useful for much more than TV (tablets, PCs, consoles) or very cheap (Apple TV, Roku, etc.).
  • titanmiller - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - link

    Give me FULL á la carte and I will buy it. I'd be quite happy to pay $5/month for the channels that I would actually watch. I hate spending $100/month to get the 2-3 extra channels that I actually watch over the basic plans. Reply
  • This Guy - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    This product could improve fab utilisation and increase time between retooling.

    Intel has more than enough brains and IP to decrease hardware codec time significantly. Quick sync is tiny and locked to the GPU clock. Intel could focus solely on high speed, high compression hardware decoders, add them to an atom and produce a highly secure system at a vary low price. As they wish to provide the complete ecosystem their profit margin could be significantly higher than their other markets.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link can we as long as Cable owns the pipe no matter what? If they aren't charging us for the cable TV, they'll up the price of the cable internet to the point where we'll be effectively paying them the same except without as much work on their side.

    Plus, they wield the power to kill anything not coming from them directly at the drop of a hat. Many already give you arbitrary limits on how much you can download in a given month, but exclude any of their services (even Internet-based ones) from such limits.

    I wish Intel could IPTV work out, I really do. But our government has set up a horrible scenario in giving ISP's exclusive rights to each area instead of fostering them to compete and scrap and claw one another down to give the consumer good value and an option to leave when we want.

    Right now, for great online, most people have one option: cable. Sure, they can go DSL, but for most that's a significant downgrade and often unavailable in their area. Or they can go wireless and suffer lag and slow speeds. Or they can go satellite and suffer horror.

    This would be great in a world where ISP's were highly competitive and always facing scrappy upstarts that might eat their lunch, but we live in a society where the only option for some to get reasonable speeds at low cost is to build up a municipal-based ISP that is then outlawed by that state's senate with a bill written by the cable company who owns that region and made law by that cable company's cronies.
  • Conficio - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I don't get it. why is Intel entering this business, where they are at the mercy of the competition (at least in the US).
    The really compelling approach in the US would be to become an ISP to break the speed and last mile monopoly. Intel would be a company that I'd trust to be able to raise the funds to build a great fiber to the premise network and most importantly to keep investing into it for the long haul.

    But I might look at this too much from the US perspective.

    The other point I don't get is the broadcast thinking in TV. It seems to me that the future will only be partially in one to many video, but a lot in one to one and one to few video. (both bi-directional) Think Skype video for family and business, think teacher and class communications, think business conferences. But again w/o controlling the routers and network you are at the mercy of the ISPs, because of the Bufferbloat issue.
  • EarthsDM - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Anand, I realized when reading "unlike Intel's smartphone aspirations..." that if Intel enables this service on IA phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and HTPCs *that* could be the competitive advantage. Reply

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