Intel is beta testing set-top boxes from its Internet TV services, with more than 2,000 company employees located in three different states in the US. The trials are alleged to have started as early as March this year, and the testing contingent is set to grow as more employees are included.
According to Digital Trends, the beta testers are sworn to secrecy as they have signed non-disclosure agreements, mandating the exclusive use of the streaming set-top box and services within their own homes, with their families. The hardware used for testing hasn't been finalized for production; however, the software and user interface are largely based on what will ultimately be offered in the final product.
The content used for the trial is kept under wraps, and isn't representative of the content available when Intel's Internet TV service is launched. In February this year, the company did reveal its Intel Media division, which aimed to work with the entire broadcasting industry to get live television to consumers over the Internet. The set-top box will be made available as a new consumer electronics product, under a new brand, and can be purchased directly from Intel or from authorized resellers.
This round of beta testing, involving a large number of testers, will allow the Intel Media division to grasp the intricacies of rolling out a commercial media streaming service. However, the most difficult hurdle of securing exclusive key content deals with the broadcasting, movie and music industries is evidently beyond the scope of this beta testing exercise.
(Source: Digital Trends)