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Intel's Rumored Set-top Service Sounds Like Google TV Done Right

Now that Intel has all but won the battle for the heart and mind of your PC, the company wants to shift focus to the battle for the eyes and ears in your living room. A new report claims that Intel plans to introduce a cable subscription service with a custom set-top box at CES next month, mixing streaming services and traditional content together with a revolutionary new DVR system that could eliminate the hassle of scheduled recordings. In short, it sounds like everything GoogleTV wants to be, but has so utterly failed to achieve.

The mix of live TV and on-demand streaming is reportedly designed to appeal to people who want to dip their toes in digital viewing, but don't want to lose the sports and fresh, new content provided by traditional cable services. TechCrunch reports that an interesting DVR function could allow you to subscribe to specific channels, then view any content that aired on that channel in the past 30 days at any time. Sayonara missed recordings! The feature sounds awesome, but it also sounds like a huge technical hurdle. Then again, if any company can leap a huge technical hurdle, it's Intel. The set-top box could also include facial recognition technology to include targeted advertising capabilities. 

Intel allegedly wanted to roll out the service this year, but recalcitrance by the major media players delayed the launch. To compensate, Intel has reportedly planned a city-by-city launch for its service—rather than a nationwide rollout—in order to have more negotiation leverage with content providers. If Intel's service strikes gold in select markets, those content providers will no doubt be much more amicable to an across-the-nation launch.

Are the rumors true? TechCrunch reports we'll hear more about Intel's new TV service at the company's CES event on January 7th. LAPTOP magazine will be live from the conference floor to bring you the news as it happens.