Intel's Growth Focused On Digital TV, Internet Advertising - InformationWeek

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Intel's Growth Focused On Digital TV, Internet Advertising

Pairing integrated processors with media partnerships could help the chipmaker tap into the $51.1 billion Internet advertising market predicted for 2012.

TV, the longtime powerhouse in advertising, is poised to get much stronger as a result of the Internet.

That was the consensus of a panel discussion at the Intel Developer Forum that followed the introduction of a new system on a chip for digital TVs and other consumer electronics. Intel unveiled Media Processor CE 3100, formerly code-named Canmore, along with a new software framework from Yahoo for delivering the Web to the TV screen.

Internet advertising is on track to surpass newspapers, cable TV, and broadcast TV by 2012, according to IDC. The analyst firm predicts that overall revenue from the Internet will double to $51.1 billion in four years from $25.5 billion in 2007.

But the line between the Internet and TV is blurring with the introduction of software like Yahoo's Widget Channel. The user interface makes it possible to access Web services, such as news, sports, online video, photo services, or social networks, on the same large TV screen where people could also be watching a movie or their favorite TV show.

Such a product opens up a huge advertising opportunity, because it's able to reach people as they watch their favorite medium for entertainment -- the large-screen TV.

"It puts television not on an even footing with the Internet, but it could leapfrog it," said panelist Irwin Gotlieb, chief executive of GroupM, a media advertising management company.

Gotlieb said blending TV and the Web will make it possible to target groups of people like never before. "Targeting improves relevance and relevance improves effectiveness," he said.

Others agreed, saying that new Web-accessing technology is becoming less intrusive, which means it's more likely to be accepted by the TV audience. "We're not altering the TV experience," said Albert Cheng, executive VP for digital media at Disney-ABC Television Group. "We're enhancing it."

Tony Werner, chief technology officer for cable company Comcast, said a major benefit with Intel's technology is the use of the x86 architecture, an industry standard. Developers building software for the Intel platform for the PC can quickly move that software to a mobile Internet device or a digital TV with one of the chipmaker's products.

"The idea of writing an application once and having it play on all environments is incredible," Werner said.

Intel plans to ship the CE 3100 SoC next month. Intel's next generation of SoC for consumer electronics, code-named Sodaville and based on its new Atom processor, is scheduled for release next year.

Other members of the panel included Tasuku Yazaki, general manager of product planning of the Vaio division at Sony. Eric Kim, VP and general manager of the Digital Home Group at Intel, hosted the discussion during his IDF keynote.

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