While it still remains a rumour mere days before the annual electronics show begins, Intel could be set to debut a new type of set top box at CES, that would allow for what is being described as, “virtual cable TV.” The idea behind it is that it would offer streaming content with a little taste of traditional cable TV for those that want mostly on demand programming.
However regardless of the content on offer, the big news here if this turns out to be true, is that Intel is branching out. Just as AMD has made itself more than a desktop chip maker – some would say it isn't really one of those any more – with its APUs and impressive mobile chips, Intel is breaking into new markets.
This is a good sign as it means the chip giant is reaching, it's still expanding. The sheer dominance Intel is experiencing as the crowned king of CPU performance, means we haven't seen the leaps and bounds we had when it was head to head with AMD, so the fact that it's competing somewhere else is nice to see.
This set top box isn't the first effort by Intel to transition from gaming den to living room though. It's been pushing to have its chips included in smart TVs for some time, though it now seems like its looking to fly solo on that project.
According to TechCrunch, the day of the reveal for this new hardware will be 7th January. Keep your eyes peeled folks, that's only a week away.
KitGuru Says: Set top boxes are a good market to get into now. With services like Netflix dominating traditional media viewing and the clear advantages of on demand programming, Intel is stepping into a strong growth industry. It'll be interesting to see if its version of the hardware can iron out some of the issues that plague many a media player.