No Intel Media Box at CES, but Maybe Soon?

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Remember the Intel cable box we posted about last year? (Hey, technically it was last year). The company has denied that we’ll be seeing anything of the sort at CES, but that doesn’t mean that something isn’t cooking. GigaOM has been tracking this story, and now they’ve spilled the beans they’ve found out so far.

Apparently this has been a major project for Intel, so much so that they’ve changed their entire corporate culture to try to ensure its success:

Intel Media is overseen by a separate board, which includes Intel CEO Paul Otellini as well as Intel Media’s content head Eric Free. There has even been talk of spinning off Intel Media into a separate corporate entity. Intel Media boss Erik Huggers, who previously led the BBC’s iPlayer efforts, apparently prefers to hire outsiders over Intel veterans, and most people at Intel have no clue what’s going on in the building.

…Intel Media has hired Sean Ludick, who helped Jawbone to get its speakers and headsets into the stores of retail giants like Best Buy, Costco and Walmart. Ludick is now is in charge of doing the same for Intel’s TV box.

Apparently, Intel has learned from the mistakes of Google TV, which was a solution in search of a problem, trying to fill a niche people didn’t want, and unlike the old Apple mantra, knew they didn’t want. Intel is determined to get it right this time. The GigaOM story continues:

One example: Apple TV currently offers a combination of VOD and apps, forcing users to make active choices about their TV viewing and making them browse through catalogs of media before they’re able to watch anything. Intel Media boss Erik Huggers, in particular, dislikes this approach, and wants to replace it with a broadcast-like approach of curated channels that require a minimum of interaction. Think Pandora, not Spotify.

Read the full piece at the source link for the full skinny. It’s definately ambitious, and it’s going to either crash and burn hard or be an amazing success. We’ll know more toward spring, apparently.


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