It is fair enough to say that Intel has lost its ground as far as Google TV is concerned. However, one should never write-off Intel from entering the Smart TV business and the company is exactly standing true to that. Yes, Intel is mulling on a Smart TV of its own.
Running on Linux based operating system Tizen, The Intel Smart TV will be powered by Intel’s CE range of Atom processors. As Tizen is an open source OS, the Smart TV from Intel, or should we say Tizen TV, should be similar to Google TV. Intel will be providing all the major hardware components, but as far as we know, Intel doesn’t make TV-tuners, so third-party involvement is imminent.
There are some core blocks to Tizen TV which include the open source core services, web run-time and native application runtime. Some other TV services like remote input and the unified multi-media services core blocks will also be open source. However, the key components of a Smart TV like being able to watch broadcast content, video on demand and the various DRM technologies required to do so can’t be open-source, and hence will be third-party implementations.
As expected, Intel will be taking the easy way out, providing its partners with all the necessary hardware, developer tools and SDK’s. The partners will then be responsible for designing UI, applications and other value-add software for the TV. Thus, the fate of the Tizen TV literally depends on the Intel partners.
Tizen TV web run-time will be Chromium based, providing support to HTML5. Chromium based web run-time also means the TV will come equipped with OpenGL ES support and hardware accelerated support for various graphics, audio, video and security applications. Reportedly, the TV will be equipped with hardware accelerated Adobe Flash and Blu-ray playback support.
Intel has been readily expanding its CE range of Atom processors. The CE4100 family now consists of six models whereas the CE4200 family has twelve. Some of the models has a clock speed of 1.2 GHz while some has 1.6 GHz. A few of them also feature Hyperthreading. Intel is also getting ready to launch its Berryville range of 32nm Atom CE processors.
So the big question that arises here is that will Tizen be enticing enough for Intel to attract any potential partners. But one thing is clear, Intel is not going to let the ARM based competition get an easy win. It’ll be interesting to see how things shape-up for Intel as we transition towards more demanding HD video usage scenarios. Will Tizen TV be good enough to compete with Google TV on the real market, only time will tell.