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The latest company to throw its hat into the streaming video service business might be chip manufacturing giant Intel, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The move would mark a new direction for the company in regards to the television industry. The report indicates that Intel will produce its own set-top box along with a subscription-based TV service that could launch by late 2012. If the report is true, Intel would be pitting itself against a growing number of set-top competitors, including Boxee, Roku, and Apple TV.
Previously, the company was involved in producing the chipset inside of the first generation of Google TV devices and the Boxee Box by D-Link. However, Intel ceased production of the chips for those (and other) set-top boxes back in October 2011.
My guess is that Intel realizes there is money to be made in the streaming media business, but only when you’re able to control all of the factors. For instance, the Google TV’s original price was too high due in part to Intel’s chipset. The Google TV software also leaves much to be desired. Apple TV, meanwhile, suffers from limited content selection.
If Intel does come forward with its own set-top box and accompanying service, I’d expect it to look very similar to Roku’s business model. Roku generates revenue from advertising, commission fees for services offered on the Roku (Netflix, Wealth TV, etc.), and hardware sales.
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