OnCue, a reportedly revolutionary Internet TV service from Intel that was supposed to launch last year, has been sold to Verizon, the two companies announced today.
Intel first started teasing OnCue last year, but missed its window for launch and spun the division off in a sale to Verizon for a rumoured $US500 million.
The service had a bunch of people scratching their heads from the beginning. Why would Intel, a chip maker with very little experience in consumer electronics and media services, attempt to revolutionise TV?
Well, if early reports are to be believed, Intel was actually onto something with OnCue. And now Verizon TV customers should get excited.
Intel never showed OnCue in public, but AdAge spoke with a few insiders last year who did see it and were blown away by the service.
Here’s a snapshot of what the product looked like at the time:
- All video would be delivered over the Internet, not through traditional cable services. Essentially, Intel would be your cable provider and you wouldn’t have to deal with your cable company to watch stuff. That alone solves a huge gripe people have with cable.
- OnCue is powered by a beautifully designed box with a front-facing camera. The camera would be able to tell when someone is in the room watching TV. (Intel later said it would get rid of the camera though.)
- Recorded shows are saved in a virtual DVR that lets you stream them over the Internet whenever you want to watch. The virtual DVR would supposedly record every TV show.
- It has a simple remote without confusing buttons.
- There’s integration with smartphones and tablets so you can watch TV on the go.
Verizon’s purchase of OnCue has to go through the standard regulatory approval process before its official over the next few months, so it’ll likely be some time before customers get to see it for themselves. Still, it at least sounds promising.
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