Media

Content deals delay Intel’s rumored Internet TV set-top box

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Surprise, surprise: Negotiations with content providers are significantly delaying Intel’s plans to take over your living room, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sources tell the WSJ that Intel originally planned to launch a television set-top box, which will reportedly allow consumers to subscribe to television channels over the web by the end of 2012. But now the timing is up in the air. Intel could either end up debuting it in the middle of this year or in the fourth quarter, due to prolonged content deals, the sources say.

Rumors of Intel stepping into the TV set-top box business have been around since last March, following the company’s move away from providing chipsets for Google TV devices and the geek-friendly Boxee Box. Last week we heard that Intel may debut its set-top box at CES next week, but now that doesn’t seem very likely.

Content deals have typically squashed attempts at revolutionizing the living room. Google TV had plenty of potential at launch with its ability to combine traditional TV service with web video, but broadcast networks were quick to block GTV devices from their websites and Hulu (which is owned by several networks). There’s still no official Hulu app for Google TV (or for devices from Boxee). Even Apple has dealt with content issues — it took forever for the Apple TV to get a Hulu app, and it’s likely a big reason why there aren’t more apps available on the Apple TV.