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Intel TV plans on hold as company shifts focus on computer chip production

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Intel's plans to foray into the living room have been put on hold, as the company's new leadership has decided to focus on other more immediate issues. Similar in nature to Netflix, the chipmaker's OnCue cable television streaming service was expected to become available later this year, however Intel has now pushed the launch date to sometime in 2014.

OnCue is in dire need of media support

Announced in early 2013, the OnCue project was initiated by former CEO Paul Otellini, who assigned a staff of 300 to the development of a new streaming service, with a few thousand Intel employees involved in preliminary tests. However, in spite of seeming promising at first, Intel's new CEO, Brian Krzanich (who replaced Otellini in May) has stated that the company's current priority is the production of custom chips via a foundry business model.

Krzanich also said that the best chance for the TV service now lies with Intel's ability to find the right media partners to back it up. Without them, it is very likely that the project will be scrapped altogether.

The new service would compete with traditional cable TV

OnCue was designed to provide cable TV programming over the Internet. In contrast to traditional cable operators, this service would work by offering subscription packages that are more attuned to the tastes of its viewers. OnCue would also come with a special feature that "would automatically record everything on every channel and save it for a period of three days." It is presumed that Intel would have to resort to a cloud storage solution to achieve this.

OnCue has been in development for over 2 years, yet it still represents a big challenge for a company that is specialized primarily in making computer chips. Intel's media marketing chief, Courtnee Westendorf, has said earlier this year that the company "will not bring a product to market without a compelling content proposition." This, however, may not turn out to be an easy job, as Intel is facing steep competition from Sony and Apple, which are looking to launch very similar services.

Fully aware of what is at stake, Krzanich clarified Intel's new stance on the matter, in a June interview. He stressed on the need for caution, especially since Intel would be venturing into unfamiliar territory, and it needs more time to get a foothold in the content industry: "We're being cautious. We're experts in silicon, we're experts in mobility, in driving Moore's Law, but we are not experts in the content industry, and we're being careful."

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