Intel predicts connected TV future
Friday, September 25 2009, 10:56 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,
Intel has unveiled its vision for TV sets being more integrated with the internet and other devices in the future to make viewers more "connected" with the screen.
The chip manufacturer said that it views the future of TV as being accessible everywhere, as well as more personal, social and informative. Therefore, it wants to be at the forefront of technological development for uniting TV and the internet to enhance the consumer experience.
Speaking at Intel's Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner told BBC News that "TV is out of the box and off the wall".
He continued: "TV will remain at the centre of our lives and you will be able to watch what you want where you want. We are talking about more than one TV-capable device for every man and woman on the planet. People are going to feel connected to the screen in ways they haven't in the past."
Rattner said that he sees the ongoing success of the TV industry resting on the increasing variety of ways in which consumers can access content whenever they want.
During his presentation, he demonstrated a series of new innovations, including a facial recognition system which automatically activates individual viewer content preferences.
He said that the growing availability of more sophisticated devices has meant that smartphones, netbooks and mobile internet devices are now accepted TV viewing platforms.
Also speaking at IDF, Cisco vice president of video product strategy Malachy Moynihan told delegates to expect a massive increase in video being consumed over the internet.
He said: "We are seeing an amazing move of video to IP [internet] networks. By 2013, 90% of all IP traffic will be video; 60% of all video will be consumed by consumers over IP networks."
Intel's digital home group boss Eric Kim explained that consumers do not want their TVs to act like PCs, but rather the "key challenge is how to bring the power and richness of the internet but keep it TV simple".
Kim showed delegates the company's new Atom CE4100 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which is able to support internet content and services on digital TV sets, DVD players and next-generation set top boxes.
Another major area of development in the TV industry is 3D, with manufacturers such as Panasonic and Samsung developing products to support such services.
During a recent press conference at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin, Sony chief executive Sir Howard Stringer announced that 3D technology will be widely incorporated into Bravia TV sets, PS3 consoles, Blu-ray players and laptops by the close of 2010.
At IBC 2009 earlier in the month, set top box manufacturer Pace showcased its new digital TV receiver with a 3D-enabled user interface.
According to research by Screen Digest, there will be 1.2 million 3D-ready TV sets in US homes by the close of 2010, which could increase to 9.7m by 2013.
In response to these developments, Rattner used a live 3D broadcast during his presentation when he spoke to a 3D projection of 3ality Digital's Howard Postley while the audience wore special glasses.
The two men discussed Intel's new high-speed optical technology, codenamed Light Peak, which is claimed to simplify digital downloads and also make them cheaper.
Potentially ready for commercial launch in 2010, Light Peak could replace the copper wire cables currently used on many communications network.
Rattner concluded: "The old TV world is fading fast and the future is here."