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Intel delays consumer TV box yet again – report

Some mediums just don’t seem to suit Chipzilla

Toshiba Regza 47VL863 3D HD TV

Intel is reportedly delaying the launch of a planned set-top box with pay-per-view content after a distinct lack of interest among partners.

Bloomberg reports that the previously planned launch of the box in time for this year's holiday season has now been delayed until at least 2014. Attempts by Intel to find partners for the device such as Amazon, Netflix, or Samsung to provide content are meeting with little success, sources inside the company report.

"For Intel or anyone else to launch and pay the networks what they're getting from the cable companies makes it a very difficult proposition," Bernard Gershon, a New York-based digital television consultant told Bloomberg.

"They have talked about being not just the set-top box but the ecosystem," Freedman said. "And in the past, when Intel has tried to mess with ecosystems outside of PCs, they have been unsuccessful."

Certainly television isn’t an area Chipzilla has had much success with. Way back in 2007 the company was predicting huge success for a smart TV platform, but that failed to ignite consumer or much manufacturing interest and the project was quietly shelved in 2011.

Intel's next big idea was to use its chips in a set-top box, and they hired Erik Huggers from the BBC to do it. The original plan called for a box that would allow consumers to pick and choose exactly what channels they wanted, something of the Holy Grail for consumers, but something media companies are dead set against, since it would bankrupt many smaller channels.

Media companies, especially those in the US, defend their business plans with a dedication that makes a honey badger protecting its cubs look like a pushover, and problems with securing partners pushed back the launch of the box from its March launch date to later this year. Now Bloomberg's sources within the company say that will shift back again and may be mothballed altogether.

Certainly Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich doesn't seem that interested in the project, preferring to focus the company's energies on sorting out a market position in the mobile sector. Intel declined to comment on the report to El Reg, but tellingly also declined to confirm the currently scheduled release date either. ®

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