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Intel takes on cable with replacement STB

By Colin MannComputer chip giant Intel has announced that it is working on a set-top box that would stream content directly to TV sets and do away with the need for a cable TV connection, Advanced Television reports.

Speaking at AllThingsDigital’s ‘Dive into Media’ conference, Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, suggested the device would offer “a vastly superior experience” to today’s cable boxes.

Although Intel is traditionally a business-facing company with little exposure to the consumer, Huggers said the company was keen to enter the segment on the basis that it could control every aspect of the service, from chips to software, to get it right.

Any such service would be dependent on the co-operation of content owners with business models, a point recognised by Huggers, who suggested that media companies were showing some flexibility. “I think we can bring an incredible TV experience via the Internet, to consumers, and that is a great opportunity for programmers,” he said. He described the planned service not as a value play, but rather “a quality play”.

According to Huggers, the box would offer on-demand content as well as apps, with a built-in camera able to detect people in a room and help deliver personalised programming and advertising.