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Samsung May Not Be Big Brother… But Is Intel Trying to Be?

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Remember all the brouhaha over the cameras and facial recognition technology in Samsung’s new Smart TVs? I think it’s safe to say that notions of Samsung spying on its customers have been satisfactorily laid to rest. But then comes this story from Peter Kafka at All Things Digital about Intel’s attempts to tackle the over-the-top TV market, and it sounds like that company has actually seriously considering doing the things that some people accused Samsung of trying to do:

Reuters report says Intel is promising programmers some cool new tech, including facial-recognition technology, that will make it easier for networks and advertisers to see exactly who’s watching their stuff.

This might creep the bejesus out of normal folks, who don’t like the idea of their TV watching them. But Intel thinks it will make it easier to get the content it wants for less, because targeted ads could be so much more valuable than the spray-and-pray model the industry uses today.

The good news (well, the good news for those of us who don’t want to be spied on–the bad news for those who want to pick and choose their content streams) is this:

The real problem: None of the content guys have shown any interest in giving Intel their stuff at a discount. More important: None of them have any interest in breaking their programming bundles, which force consumers to pay for lots of shows/networks they don’t want, in exchange for access to the stuff they do want.

Those bundles are core to today’s TV ecosystem. And the TV guys insist that consumers really don’t want “a la carte” programming, because if they do, the channels/shows they like today will end up costing much, much more.

Kafka has a lot more to say on the issue, especially in terms of à la carte cable, so head over to the source story and check out the rest.

Via: [All Things Digital]

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