Intel Corp.'s effort to develop an Internet-based TV service and associated hardware is taking longer than expected, people familiar with the company's plans say, in part due to delays in reaching content agreements with media companies.The chip maker's surprise interest in the crowded pay TV business was disclosed last March by The Wall Street Journal, which reported Intel had told media companies it hoped to launch a service by the end of 2012. The timing now seems uncertain.
One person familiar with Intel's thinking on Monday predicted it would launch its offering by mid-2013. Another person said a service might not arrive until as late as the fourth quarter, citing delays in reaching content-licensing agreements with entertainment companies that own major TV channels.Speculation about Intel's plans has intensified ahead of next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Intel plans to discuss new chips for PCs and mobile devices at the event but not its TV plans, one of these people said.
Intel, whose chips serve as calculating engines in most computers, has long hoped to move its technology into TVs or set-top boxes. Along the way, it has teamed up with other technology companies seeking to exploit the Internet to offer consumers more content options.Most of those efforts haven't produced much in the way of benefits. Intel recently abandoned a collaboration with Google Inc. GOOG+ that was designed to get its chips into TVs and set-top boxes; most Google TV products now are based on chips designs licensed by ARM Holdings PLC, the mainstay of most smartphones.