If you are a subscriber to a cable or satellite dish television service, take a minute today and click on your programming guide and count how many of the channels that you subscribe to are channels you actually view at least once a month. We live in a time when there are hundreds of television channels available to us, and the reality is, each of us probably only frequently views 20 or fewer.
Intel realizes that is the case and is hoping to disrupt the television market that has long relied on forcing customers to pay upwards of $100 a month in television bills for stations they don’t view by introducing a new set-top box that will let customers pick their own television lineup and, as a result, only pay for the stations they subscribe to.
“This set-top box, said by industry insiders to be available to a limited beta of customers in March, will offer cable channels delivered ‘over the top’ to televisions anywhere there is an internet connection regardless of provider,” wrote Kelly Clay, a Forbes reporter covering news of Intel’s box.
Such a product from Intel would bridge the service gap between cable and satellite providers and other on-demand boxes such as Boxee and Roku. The benefit of a true TV provider is that you get live sports, news, primetime shows, and all other television content as it is broadcast. There are no delays or worries about whether a content provider is going to make a show available for streaming on a service like Hulu, for example. The downside to traditional TV services, obviously, is the cost of those services.
If Intel is able to introduce a product that allows customers to only pay for the stations they want, it could revolutionize the way all content providers do business.