Intel developing television set-top Internet system

Intel Corp. said Tuesday that it will sell a set-top box that brings Internet-delivered movies and shows to a TV set this year.

Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, said the company plans to sell a box that will offer “a vastly superior experience” to today’s cable boxes.

There are various boxes today that bring Web content to TV sets, with popular ones made by Roku and Apple. Intel wants to up the ante and make its box and streaming service a replacement for cable.

Rumors of an Intel set-top box and video service emerged last year. Huggers didn’t say what the box and service would cost, or when this year such a device would come out. He said Intel’s goal is to provide quality rather than undercutting cable pricing.

The video service would also be available on non-TV devices such as the iPad, Huggers said. Cable companies have been making some content available on smartphone and tablet computers as part of their TV Everywhere initiative.

Intel is the world’s largest chipmaker, but has little direct contact with consumers. Its chief business, making processors for PCs, is stagnating as PC sales are declining and consumers are moving to tablets and smartphones, most of which don’t run Intel chips. Huggers said the company was motivated to get into the consumer business after realizing that it needed to control every aspect of the service, from chips to software, to get it right.