It's official: Intel's getting into the set-top business

Consumer electronics would be part of an Internet TV package that will challenge incumbents
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Intel is ready to step outside of the box--literally and figuratively--with a new consumer electronics product and an Internet TV offering it hopes will reshape the online video delivery business, the chipmaker confirmed at the AllThingsDigital Dive into Media conference Tuesday.

Long rumored to be in the works, the Internet TV offering will revolve around a new consumer electronics product "bought directly from us or at retail under a new brand," said Erik Huggers, vice president and general manager of Intel Media, as reported by Broadband TV News.

The product is expected to use an over-the-top model but compete with incumbent pay TV service providers.

"We're working with the entire industry to work out how we can deliver proper television to the consumer," Huggers said.

Intel is joining a crowded field that already includes boxes from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) TV and Roku as well as streaming online content delivery from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu and a bevy of others offering varying levels of over-the-top online video Internet content. It's also entering a field long dominated by cable, telco and satellite providers with deep pockets and even deeper connections with content owners.

"I believe we can bring an incredible television experience via the Internet to consumers," Huggers added, according to AdWeek.

It all depends, of course, on Intel's ability to get the right content at the right price for packages that will entice consumers away from what's already there. There's also the question of Intel's hardware prowess when it comes to developing consumer electronics, but that's another matter as the chipmaker moves into the content delivery business with packages, rather than standalone content options.

"If the bundles are handled right, there's real value in that opportunity to create a more flexible environment where [users] have more control than they do today," Huggers said, according to AdWeek. "I don't believe the industry is ready for pure a la carte."

For more:
Broadband TV News had this story
AdWeek had this story

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