Coming Soon: Intel's Must-See TV
I was fortunate enough to glimpse a possible part of that future at the Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters of Intel (ticker: INTC), where I saw a TV service that is novel, elegant, and highly desirable, even to a television Luddite like me. The service faces a number of hurdles, including potential obstruction by the cable and telephone industries, but what I witnessed could take Intel in a thrilling new direction.
Sometime this year, the chip giant will offer a set-top box at retail, with a subscription service that brings you live television over your broadband Internet connection.
It is, in industry argot, an "over the top" video connection, requiring no actual TV package from the four major "multiple system operators," or MSOs, as they're called—Comcast (CMCSA), Cablevision (CVC), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Charter Communications (CHTR)—or from Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T(T).
WITHOUT GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY, the user interface seemed to hover beautifully above the currently playing show. An elegant simple menu made it easy to switch between channels or to pick and rent a recent film. It was light years from the cumbersome garbage that takes up most of the screen when using a standard cable-channel picker.
Tesla Falls On NY Ban Worries
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) were down nearly 2% just before the close Friday.
Late yesterday, CEO Elon Musk demonstrated a new system that will let drivers swap out the batteries for the company’s Model S in about 90 seconds—making it quicker to do than the average fill-up at a gas station. The firm noted that this should allay fears about the convenience of electric cars to drivers looking to get on the road quickly.
However, today the stock was dealt a blow, as New York state is looking to ban direct automobile sales.
The ban could pose a problem for Tesla, which markets directly to consumers, bypassing car dealerships. Not surprisingly, auto dealers aren’t happy about this paradigm.
Musk, in a Tweet accused legislators or trying to pass the bill quickly and quietly, and chastised the auto dealer lobby.