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Intel to roll out web TV service this year, company exec confirms

An Intel executive has confirmed that the company is indeed gearing up to launch an online television service this year, according to reports.

The chip manufacturer will sell a set-top box that can stream live TV and movies, as well as provide content on-demand, Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media said at the AllThingsDigital "Dive into Media" conference in Dana Point, California on Tuesday. The company is currently working to negotiate deals with content partners, according to Reuters.

"We have been working for (the past) year to set up Intel media, a new group focused on developing an Internet platform," Huggers said.

Beyond offering a set-top box for televisions, Intel may also extend its service to tablets and mobile devices, according to AllThingsD. Customers shouldn't expect to be able to pay for programming a la carte. The company will be offering bundled programming similar to what's offered by cable providers.

One potentially controversial feature of the device is a built-in camera that watches a user's movements and TV viewing habits to deliver personalised ads and content.

"My kids may watch programming geared towards them, and I'll watch programming geared towards me," Huggers said, according to AllThingsD. "If there's a way to distinguish who is watching what, advertisers can then target ads at the proper parties."

Rumblings about an Intel-run TV service have been growing in recent months. Late last year, TechCrunch reported that Intel will roll out the service city by city to avoid licensing issues with content providers.

Reports of the service first surfaced in March. At the time, the Wall Street Journal said the service, aimed at the US market, would bundle US TV channels much like cable and satellite TV providers already do but deliver them over the Internet through the Intel-branded set-top boxes. Reuters had a similar story in June.