Intel rumored to be working on a set-top box

Intel rumored to be working on a set-top box

Summary: As the PC industry continues to stagnate, rumors suggest that Intel is preparing to make an assault on the living room, going head-to-head against the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.


Rumors are circulating that chip giant Intel is working on TV service that will feature a set-top box.

Intel, which was once content with being inside your PC, now wants to be inside your home - attached to your television. Problem is, this is an increasingly competitive market space. Apple has had a set-top box for years, Google has been half-heartedly pushing its Google TV platform, and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all chose to retrofit their games consoles to act as media centers.

Given this, Intel is going to have to work hard to make its offering different from the rest. The rumors go further than a set-top box, and include licensed content and a back-end service that allows the content to be delivered to every screen, including tablets, PCs and mobile phones.

While the set-top box is the bit that we will see and interact with, it will only be a small cog in a far bigger project.

Intel is also hiring people with the right know-how to make this work, such as Courtnee Westendorf who worked at Apple for over a decade and handled global marketing for the iPhone and iPod.

But even Intel, with all its dollars and tech industry clout, is finding it hard to deal with content providers. Some outlets are claiming that Intel will unveil it at the CES 2013 trade show in Las Vegas later this month, but GigaOM sources say we will have to wait a little longer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the service may not make an appearance "until as late as the fourth quarter," with sources citing delays in reaching agreements with entertainment companies.

Intel's desire to go head-to-head with established players is further proof of that the PC industry is stalling. Even major players at the heart of the industry are looking to diversify.

Topic: Intel

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  • this is a long term effort not an arm reaction

    If this was just diversification it'd in with tv OEMs in the chasis. Intel tried that but failed because they hitched their wagon to yahoo right when yang decided to take it down the drain with him. Now they face the other problem that no one wants a set top box. Not even the one they already have, let alone another one.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Apple is not the problem

    Nor is it Google, Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. The problem is: ARM based media players.
    You can't point to Android [Google] as Embedded Linux and XBMC are being ported to these new platform as quickly as they come out. The hardware is minimal, keeping the parts count down and the code reasonably quick.
    Raspberry Pi is only one player - incredibly cheap, and it wasn't even targeted at the media player audience. Beaglebones have some grunt too. Throw in [Chinese designed] Mele or Cubieboards with SATA connectors for serious media storage, and suddenly Intel are left scratching their heads and wondering where their customers have gone.
    Can Intel design a microcontroller-like variant of the Atom? Strong enough to handle HD video, cheap enough to combat all the ARM Cortex-A8 and A9 variants?
    I'd like to see Intel produce a $30 board to "top" the Raspberry Pi. A suitable project name might be: "Whipped Cream" [Ice Cream being already taken by Android].