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Intel to launch Internet TV service at CES 2013

Intel will reportedly unveil a set-top box and cloud-based TV service at the 2013 iteration of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

As first reported by TechCrunch, the chip maker will begin rolling out the service in the US on a city-by-city basis, in order to avoid licensing issues with content providers.

Citing a source in the video distribution industry, TechCrunch said Intel first began flirting with an Internet-based TV service when it partnered with Google for Google TV. Despite the lack of success of the project, Intel apparently still wants to branch out and conquer the space on its own. Google, the source told TechCrunch, made only a "half-assed" attempt and Intel wants to "do it right."

An Intel-run TV service would apparently include content normally found on cable TV packages, as well as Internet-based content, like Netflix's streaming service.

Reports of an Intel-based TV service first surfaced in March 2012. At the time, the Wall Street Journal said the service would bundle TV channels much like cable and satellite TV providers already do, but deliver them over the Internet via Intel-branded set-top boxes. If the project is a success in the US, the hope would be that Intel would then look to spread the service to other regions, much like Netflix did.

Back in 2009, Intel announced its next-generation 'Sodaville' chip for TV set-top boxes, which were based on the Atom microprocessor. A year earlier, Intel unveiled a system-on-a-chip that could be used in set-top boxes to integrate the Internet on TVs.

An Intel spokesman declined to comment on the most recent reports.

Apple, meanwhile, is reportedly in talks with American cable operators regarding a content distribution deal for the existing Apple TV set-top box, though nothing has been finalised.

Similarly, Microsoft is reportedly prepping an Xbox-inspired set-top box

Those cable deals could be a major impediment to getting Intel's service off the ground, hence the city-by-city approach, TechCrunch added.

Intel's CES press conference is scheduled for Monday, 7 January at 13:00 US Pacific time. ITProPortal will be there, so stay tuned for more.