Report: Intel-branded set-top box to debut at CES 2013

Reports indicate that Intel is planning to debut a set-top box and streaming TV service at CES 2013 in Las Vegas this January.

As we’ve discussed before on TG, many television studios and network channels have been unwilling to bring their content to streaming set-top boxes without the device being tied to a traditional cable TV subscription. This can be attributed to concern over losing traditional revenue models from television commercials.

Nevertheless, recent reports indicate that Intel is set to show off a new set-top box paired with over-the-top cable TV streaming service at CES 2013.

Indeed, an unnamed industry source in the video distribution realm is claiming the x86-based set-top box will be rolled out on a city-by-city basis as Santa Clara negotiates new television channel agreements. Concrete specs are obviously unavailable at this point, although the device is rumored to use facial recognition technology to personalize the viewing experience based on age and gender.

Essentially, the facial recognition technology would help advertisers to target certain demographics such as adult males or children with commercials that might be more interesting to them.

The Intel-branded set-top box is also said to offer a catch-up style service enabling users to view content aired over the last 30 days on channels they are subscribed to. The service also promises DVR like functionality, supporting pause and rewind live TV.

We don’t expect to hear much in the way of details on the new service until CES 2013. Of course, since this is a rumor, there is a chance the device may never see the light of day. On the upside, Intel certainly has deep enough pockets to secure content agreements, so perhaps the chipmaker can succeed where others have failed.