Intel is considering dipping its toe into the web TV market, with the chip manufacturer readying an IPTV set-top box which will offer premium television content through the internet.

This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which has it on good authority that Intel is looking to provide the world with a rival to Apple TV – and has begun speaking to cable companies and media outlets in the US about offering content through Intel's system.

Although the negotiations taking place are said to be in their early stages, Intel certainly has the chip power to create a set top box of this magnitude, but it is the IPTV service which is the most interesting part of this rumour.

Smart thinking

Until recently the company was seen as the go-to chip maker for Smart TVs but with Samsung and others now choosing their own chips, it has lost its footing in this area and announced that it would no longer be pushing to get its x86 processor into sets.

By branching out on its own and offering an IPTV service, it is looking to offer a service similar to Google TV – in which it played a key part – and Apple TV.

The difference here being that it would allow media companies to host their full channels on the service, instead of going down the VoD route.

The internet is set to be where the next big push for content will take place. Although cable in the US and satellite in the UK is dominant, the web is being readied for TV programming.

You only have to look at Sky and its attempts to bring its content to customers without a dish to see where the industry is going.

And it's not as if Intel doesn't have the calibre of people to create such a service – Erik Huggers left the BBC, where he was instrumental in getting the iPlayer off the ground, and joined Intel over a year ago.

If anyone is able to create an Apple TV rival, then it would be him. Although Intel will be hoping that its service will become more than a hobby.

Via Business Week