Intel's Streaming TV Ambitions Are Real, And Huge

Intel has just confirmed what was previously only a rumor; it's entering the set-top box business in a major way. As the Verge reports, we're talking "live television, catch-up television, on-demand, [and] a set of applications." In other words, the golden goose.

Intel's Erik Huggers broke the news today at the Dive into Media conference, where he promised all of the above all through a tiny little streaming box. The service will be under a different brand name from Intel and, perhaps most importantly, is still contingent on the company sealing deals with content providers. That is, as Huggers himself pointed out, the hard part.

In fact, content deals are probably the only thing preventing any number of players from breaking down the barriers that have held up cord-cutting nirvana for so long. The other things Intel has on offer—including apps and a rethought programming guide—can just as easily be offered up by Apple or any number of Android partners. So why would Intel succeed where others have reportedly failed?

It could be the company's approach. Huggers implied that Intel wouldn't be trying for a la carte programming; instead, it would embrace the types of bundles that already exist through your cable subscription. Basically, don't expect it to save you much money.

All those questions, though, are what will define the service as a success or failure. Would you want an Intel streaming TV box? Who knows! Even if the hardware exists, it's clear that the content that powers it doesn't yet. So right now it seems like Intel has what everyone else in the game does: intention, potential, and some tough negotiations ahead. [The Verge]