Intel staff become TV guinea pigs

Fashion bag maker Intel is making sure that it does not anger animal rights groups by testing its television service on human guinea pigs.

Eric Free, vice president and general manager for content and services at Intel Media, said that early testing of Intel’s service is working quite well. So far no staff member has exhibited any side effects other than one person who was always a little twitchy anyway.

Free told CNET he believes 2013 is the year that “over-the-top video service really takes off”, which might have been an unexpected side-effect and could mean users will have to screw their set-top boxes to the floor until 2013 is over.

The fashion bag maker wants the TVs to be rolled out later this year.

He confirmed that Intel is conducting closed trials of its product with Intel employees in three west coast markets.

Free said that there had been “lots of fits and starts in the quest to take pay TV to the internet”.  We guess that fits and starts must be another side effect.

He claimed that consumer behaviour is changing, with many people cutting the cord and technology has improved to the point where internet-based TV is possible.

In addition, companies have become more comfortable with the internet and have “learned enough to know where the business is going and what bets to make in terms of the next model,” Free said.

Free said that Intel doesn’t plan to significantly cut down a user’s cable bill with its new offering, but it expects to attract users by providing more “curated” content.

It wants to attract younger people looking for new digital alternatives, rather than those who want to get rid of their cable subscriptions.