Skip to main content

Amazon rises from the ashes of Intel’s OnCue with aggressive new plans for Internet TV

amazon sets april 2nd for unveiling apple tv competitor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Just as one tech company’s dream of spawning a new era of online live TV was finally put to rest today, another company has outlined similar ambitions. As we reported earlier, Intel’s much anticipated OnCue streaming service was purchased by Verizon today, though the company’s ultimate plans for its recent acquisition remain unclear. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal also reported today that Amazon has set out on its own quest to buck the cable establishment by providing live TV through its online streaming network.

The goal of creating an online service that dishes out live programming on par with the kind of packages offered by cable and satellite companies has proved to be no small task. Intel’s attempts with OnCue to create an all in one service for cable, streaming apps, and mobile delivery were thwarted when the company couldn’t get content providers to open their doors. Providers wouldn’t risk harming their lucrative relationships with massive cable conglomerates like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon itself, on an upstart like Intel Media for fear of retribution.

However, Amazon has a leg up on Intel that lends this latest venture a much better chance of success. Thanks to Amazon’s expansive Prime Instant Viewing service, the company has already rubbed elbows with some of the big wig studios and production companies that churn out TV content. Amazon is hoping those ties will translate to success where Intel failed. The WSJ reports Amazon has already approached three major conglomerates looking to secure rights to bring live content to its site. In addition, Amazon is also working on its own streaming set-top-box in the vein of Roku, Apple TV, and presumably, Intel’s own OnCue device that was the flagship of its proposed streaming system.

All of this could be good news for those who have been looking for a more convenient way to access live TV content without getting caught up in contracts, or paying for large packages with unwanted channels and bundled services. While negotiations are still at the very early stages, Amazon just might have the resources and the clout to get a deal done with at least a few networks. But it won’t be easy, or cheap. According to the Journal’s report, Amazon paid over $1 billion in content fees for its instant video services last year alone, and the number will likely increase if it secures deals for live TV.

Still, while our last piece ended on a down note with the unsure future of the OnCue streaming service, as well as the recent net neutrality ruling that will give unprecedented power to Internet Service Providers over current streaming services, Amazon’s latest enterprise offers a glimmer of hope.

We’ll have to wait and see if the company can make headway with content providers, but if it’s successful, it could help loosen the grip of big cable, and open the door to an all new way to access TV.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Waniata
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Waniata is a multi-year veteran of the digital media industry, a lover of all things tech, audio, and TV, and a…
Chromecast with Google TV vs. Roku Streaming Stick 4K vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
A Roku Streaming Stick 4K, a Chromecast with Google TV and a Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

If you're looking for a new streaming device and are maybe a bit lost given all the choices out there, you're not alone. Three of the biggest players in the space are Google, Roku, and Amazon, and that means a comparison between the Chromecast with Google TV 4K, Roku Streaming Stick 4K, and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is in order. So, which one comes out on top? All those devices hover at a $50 price point, so it can be confusing when comparing these streaming media devices. How do you decide which one is right for you?

Truth be told, it's difficult. These streaming devices have far more similarities than differences. And since you can't easily pick one by price, the answer will be in the details. So, let's take a deep dive and see where each device's strengths and weaknesses are to help you find the best solution for you.

Read more
How to get Amazon Fire TV working on a hotel room television
Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick 4K.

If you travel a lot and spend an inordinate amount of time in hotel rooms, you've undoubtedly been subjected to crappy hotel TV interfaces, local programming with (ugh) commercials, and near-obscene fees for movies and TV shows.

Sure, you could just use the hotel's Wi-Fi to watch stuff on your phone or laptop, but with a big TV hanging on the wall at the foot of your bed, it seems a shame not to use it.

Read more
How to change the Amazon Fire TV Ambient Experience background
The small widgets on the Amazon Fire TV Ambient Experience.

When it comes to the streaming platforms that power our access to the world of services from Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and more, there's no doubt that Amazon Fire TV is among the biggest on the planet. Millions of users worldwide turn to its Sticks, Cubes, and TVs in part because of their low cost, but also because they reliably deliver a consistent experience across them all.

Read more