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Intel reportedly plans to launch its internet TV service in a limited number of cities

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Citing a video industry source, TechCrunch reports that Intel plans to offer its TV service in a limited number of markets after facing difficulty signing deals with content owners. Earlier this year, reports from The Wall Street Journal and Reuters indicated that Intel could enter the content distribution business with its own Intel-branded, web-based TV service and set-top box by the end of 2012; the service is said to blend traditional TV offerings like sports with streaming services that are all delivered over a customer's existing internet connection. It wasn't clear at the time if Intel would deliver on that schedule — the WSJ said in March that the company hadn't made any content deals yet — and it looks like the company will have to make some concessions to get content providers interested in its plans.

Ambitious features could be holding back Intel's service

Intel's plans are said to include some ambitious features, which could be a cause for the media industry's reluctance to provide their content. For instance, TechCrunch says that Intel's service could let users watch any programming aired within the last month for channels they subscribe to. By comparison, Dish Network's PrimeTime Anytime feature allows users to record all primetime content from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC nightly and store it for eight days. It's also said to be working on innovative set-top box technology, including a system that would allow it to broadcast targeted ads using facial recognition, which could provide information like age and gender to marketers. There still doesn't seem to be a solid timeframe for an announcement, but TechCrunch says that Intel plans to rollout the service "soon."