Intel Corp. and Comcast Corp. have taken a stake in Intertainer Inc., a self-styled broadband entertainment-program service provider. The news coincided with the 2-year-old Californian startup taking the wraps off its synonymous Intertainer broadband service.
Provided a user has a multimedia PC and access to a broadband platform, consumers can create their own programming schedule by using Intertainer's Java-based technology, the company said in a statement issued yesterday. Intertainer's broadband service contains intelligent agent software that behaves like a personal assistant -- learning a user's viewing preferences and hence recommending program selections, the company said. Using the Intertainer service, selections drawn from music, movies, television and video games can then be delivered on-demand to a user's PC or TV, and then displayed in full-motion, full-screen video.
The Intertainer service is currently being beta tested in two sites in California. The first site in northern California began testing the system in November last year and uses Pacific Bell's Fast Trak ADSL (asynchronous digital subscriber line) system. The second trial in Buena Park is using Comcast's cable-modem system. Intertainer plans to start distribution of its service to the cable-modem and ADSL markets by the third quarter of this year.
The amount of the Intel's and Comcast's stakes in Intertainer was not disclosed, however both companies will be assisting Intertainer with technology developments. Intel will help the startup bring its technology to set-top computers, optimize its service for servers based on Intel Architecture (IA) and incorporate videoconferencing into its service. For its part, Comcast is working with Intertainer on both broadband and set-top box applications and may provide programs from its E! Entertainment Television network for the two ongoing beta tests.
Intertainer, based in Santa Monica, California, can be reached at +1-310-264-3922 or via the Internet at http://www.intertainer.com/.