Talking tech since 2003

For a while now, reports about Intel’s efforts to break into the television business have floated around the web. It was said to be making its own set-top box with a built-in camera, and to be investing heavily in servers to help you watch all the TV you want right from the cloud. But today over on AllThingsD, it’s being reported that Intel may be giving up the ghost, and handing its project over to Verizon, a company that already provides television services to several areas throughout the country.

According to the post, the problems for Intel’s television plans was never hardware or ideas—the boxes were built, named “OnCue,” and being tested by employees, apparently. No, the main issue was what hampered all prior attempts to bring television to customers in ways that don’t involve big cable companies: securing the licensing for piping that content to customers. Verizon, of course, has all the licenses it could ever want considering it’s already a television provider.

So what’s the upshot here? If this is accurate, Verizon will have another technological tool in its arsenal to connect content with consumers. Intel will probably receive a piece of any money that the devices make, unless of course the telecom simply buys the devices and everything from them in one lump sum. And at the end of the day, customers are still stuck with the same old television options that they had before.

It seems clear by now that the only way this will ever change is if enough people well and truly cut that cord. I get the majority of my TV from services like Netflix, or streaming from Hulu. I’m okay with watching shows a day after they’ve premiered with the Hulu solution. And if I miss a show, or have to wait until they’re put on Netflix? Well, I guess I can read a book.

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