Source: Tiernan Ray / Barron’s
Full disclosure, dear readers—I’m not a TV viewer. I chucked the set years ago and mainly watch things on computers.
But then, television hasn’t changed much in decades, so I feel I’m still qualified to opine on the boob tube’s future. And two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to glimpse a possible part of that future at the Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters of Intel (ticker: INTC), where I saw a TV service that is novel, elegant, and highly desirable, even to a television Luddite like me. The service faces a number of hurdles, including potential obstruction by the cable and telephone industries, but what I witnessed could take Intel in a thrilling new direction.
Sometime this year, the chip giant will offer a set-top box at retail, with a subscription service that brings you live television over your broadband Internet connection.
It is, in industry argot, an “over the top” video connection, requiring no actual TV package from the four major “multiple system operators,” or MSOs, as they’re called— Comcast (CMCSA), Cablevision (CVC), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Charter Communications (CHTR)—or from Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T (T).
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