One person familiar with Intel's thinking on Monday predicted it would launch its offering by mid-2013. Another person said a service might not arrive until as late as the fourth quarter, citing delays in reaching content-licensing agreements with entertainment companies that own major TV channels.
TechCrunch recently reported that a source inside the company told them a working version of the set top box will be finished by and for CES. The WSJ's source contradicts this claiming that Intel plans to discuss new chips for PCs and mobile devices at the event but not its TV plans.
Intel is working on the box as part of its plans for a subscription TV service that would combine both traditional channels and streaming content such as Redbox. Unfortunately, the company seems to have run into the same problem as Apple. Entertainment companies don't want to strike deals with online TV services and are fighting hard to protect the lucrative ecosystem they have in place.
One executive at a big TV company said last month that he didn't want to be among the first to negotiate a deal with Intel for fear of disrupting his relationship with existing distributors.
Intel is said to have reached one agreement thus far.