Intel gears up for TV push

Intel is trailing its forthcoming TV product among some 2,000 company employees and has started to build a call-centre operation ahead of the launch, according to US reports.

CNET reported that staff in Northern California, Arizona were testing the ‘Black Box Project’ and Oregon – though it said the product trial is still based on early versions of the set-top’s hardware and user interface, with the content also not finalised.

As speculation grows about Intel’s much-anticipated move into the internet TV market, Variety reported that Intel is also building a large call-centre operation, known internally as ‘Audience Care’ – it’s first direct customer-facing effort.

A further report by Barron’s said that the subscription set-top service, that will deliver live TV, catch-up and additional contentover the web, will launch later this year.

Describing an early glimpse at the product, it said an “elegant simple menu made it easy to switch between channels or to pick and rent a recent film,” and described it as “light years from the cumbersome garbage that takes up most of the screen when using a standard cable-channel picker.”

The Barron’s report said that the product’s final channel line-up is “still being formulated.”

Tags: Barron's, CNET, Intel