The Knowns and Unknowns of Web-Based TV

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Like glaciers in the arctic, TV networks are slowly and inevitably warming to the idea of cutting the cable cord.

Over the last several months, there have been lots of stories about negotiations between TV networks, such as ESPN and Viacom, and tech titans such as Apple, Google and Intel. The goal is presumably to change the way we watch TV by tapping into the Internet and using new technologies like touchscreens, voice and motion controls.

But how different would these web-based TV offerings be from what’s already available, and how close are they to actually happening? Let’s take a broader look at everything we know so far, and what’s still up in the air.

The Players and the Deals

I count four tech companies, at least that we know of, that are trying to cut deals with popular networks: Apple, Google, Intel and Sony. These companies are…

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