Intel planning to offer TV, a la carte

Intel, one of America’s largest CPU and semiconductor chip manufacturers is reportedly looking to break into and simultaneously revolutionize the television business.
Instead of the standard bundled-cable service that is the norm for subscription services, Intel would offer unbundled, pay-per-channel options to customers.
As reported in Forbes last week, this would be a feature of their set-top box, which would stream, via the Internet, any channels that the user would choose to subscribe to. The set-top box would also give users access to Intel’s current content, including apps, casual games and video on demand.
Furthermore, Intel is planning to offer use of “Cloud DVR”, which would allow users to watch any past show at any time, without needing to have personally recorded it to a local DVR.
This would constitute a major upset in today’s economy of television, as all models for business are based around the customer choosing what package of channels works best for them; a fan of football and baseball may want to watch only those two sports on television, but they would most likely subscribe to a sports package which would offer coverage of many more than just those two.
Likewise, people with standard cable packages may never watch more than 10 per cent of the channels they pay for.
Think of people you know; most people my own age watch TSN, The Food Network and a few others on occasion. In many cases, there is no need to pay for major news networks, “educational” television like The Discovery Channel, The History Channel or others.
Does this sound too good to be true? It just might be. As expected, major players in the business like content-providers are not very eager to rock the boat. As reported in the Wall Street Journal a few days after the news broke, this new model is simply too difficult to crow-bar into the stable, accepted method of content consumption right now.
Furthermore, were this new system implemented, the reality is that each channel would cost significantly more than it would in theory; if you were to split up a current bundled package into equal parts and pay that much per channel, it would be virtually negligible.
However, were you to buy a set-top box and choose four channels that you want, they would be proportionally much more expensive, so as to bridge the gap between bundled and unbundled service. Remember, Intel wants to give you choice, but not necessarily make it any cheaper.
Content providers are not altruists; if the model is going to change, they will want to make at least the same amount of money off the services and goods they’re providing.
For the time being, picky TV-watchers can take the fact that this is even being considered as a good sign; it may not happen this year, or the next, but progress is being made. 

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