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Intel has confirmed that it will soon be expanding its hardware and services line to include home television services.
Speaking at an event hosted by AllThingsD, Intel corporate vice president Erik Huggers said that the chip giant had formed a new group known as Intel Media which would develop both hardware and network services for television.
According to reports, the device will be built and branded by Intel and will be sold directly to consumers by the company. The company would also work with content and service providers to develop and distribute live television coverage as streaming video to users.
Huggers was quoted by AllThingsD as saying the box and service could hit the market as early as this year.
The move would represent a departure for Intel, which has largely relied on third-party PC, server and handset vendors to distribute its hardware.
With consumerisation increasingly driving the development of the IT market, Intel has seen its product focus shift away from the traditional enterprise server and PC space into new markets such as ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones.
The set-top box market has thus far proven difficult for big-name vendors to penetrate, with products such as the Apple TV languishing on the fringes as "hobby" devices. Competition could soon heat up, however, as Intel now looks to enter the market and Apple has been reportedly in talks with studios on additional content deals.