Intel is hard at work on efforts that it hopes will shake up the pay-TV market and potentially kill cable as we know it today, and those efforts recently took a big step toward become a reality, according to a new report. Santa Clara-based Intel has been confirmed to be working on its own set-top box and associated television service that could potentially change the way viewers consume TV. The company is also looking to shake up TV advertising, and is willing to pay as much as 75% more for content than traditional cable providers because its box will utilize a built-in camera to collect data on viewers’ habits that it will then use to serve targeted ads. Now, according to a new report, Intel’s set-top box and service are being tested by thousands of Intel employees in three different markets.
CNET on Tuesday reported that more than 2,000 Intel workers in Northern California, Arizona and Oregon are currently testing the new pay-TV service, and that figure is apparently growing each day. The site says Intel’s TV project is code-named “Black Box Project.”
Few specific details are available in the report, though CNET notes that the device and service currently being tested will likely feature substantial changes ahead of launch. “The test product installed in each home involves early trial hardware and an old version of the user interface design,” the site wrote. “The software being tested will have many similarities to the final version — such as how users navigate the system — but the hardware design will be completely different.”