Android TV gives Intel a new shot at the market after previous failures

The partnership with Google makes sense, analysts say, and allows Intel to enter the TV market without suppling content

Intel is chasing the lucrative TV market once again by aligning with Google on Android TV despite multiple failed attempts in the past few years.

Much like the existing Google TV, Android TV is an interactive entertainment platform for smart TVs, set-top boxes and other devices. It will initially be in TVs from Sony and Sharp, and will also work with Google's US$35 Chromecast device, through which videos can be wirelessly streamed from mobile devices to TVs.

Google and Intel will "work together to bring this platform and experience to market," Intel said in a statement. An Intel spokeswoman said more details about the partnership will be shared at a later date.

It is likely that Intel will supply chips for TVs, set-top boxes and devices like Chromecast, analysts said. The goal is to put as many Intel chips as possible in more consumer electronics, which is a hot market right now.

"You've got to be in consumer electronics, that's where everything is going on," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

The partnership is perhaps the best way for Intel to attack the TV market following previous failures, analysts said. Intel was planning its own Cloud-based TV service called OnCue, but sold those assets to Verizon Communications for an undisclosed sum in January. Intel in 2009 announced its intent to get into the TV market with the CE4100 chip, and went on to release chips for TVs and set-top boxes with Google TV software. However, Intel exited that market in late 2011 and the void was ultimately filled by Marvell, which supplied ARM chips for Google TV devices. Intel also sells gateway chips for content delivery via cable networks.

Intel took on more than it could handle with its last multimillion dollar effort to start its own TV service, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

Looking back on Intel's last failed TV venture, "their big problem wasn't technology," Brookwood said. "It was lining up content providers."

Google TV hasn't been a resounding success either, but Android TV provides Intel an easier path to get to TVs without worrying about assembling content, Brookwood said.

Intel is gunning for the digital home and TVs are an essential part of the mix, in addition to mobile devices and PCs, said McGregor.

"Anyone and everyone's hopping on that bandwagon," he said.

Intel's learned from its previous failure and wants to be an enabler instead of a provider, McGregor said.

But Intel faces competition from ARM and MIPS, which are being used in most TVs and set-top boxes. Android TV, based on the Android L OS, will also work with those chip architectures. Nvidia, which makes ARM chips, said its Tegra K1 chip will go into Android TVs.

ARM and MIPS have an early-mover advantage and have the capabilities to deliver a strong TV service, McGregor said.

TV is changing with more mobile devices in the mix, which would give ARM an advantage. But with the PC industry under attack and mobile chip shipments yet to take off, Intel is experimenting in adjacent markets like wearables, the Internet of Things, and now, TVs, McGregor said.

"Intel's perhaps saying, let's just sell more chips," McGregor said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsComponentsprocessorsintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?