Jan 02, 2013 12:55 PM EST | By Juan G. Rodriguez
Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 have been battling to get gamers to ditch their cable boxes for streaming digital content. Both gaming console makers offer a plethora of video applications including Netflix, Vudu, Crackle and Hulu Plus.
According to a new report from Forbes online, chipmaker Intel is planning to launch a new set-top box that provides customers with television channels and movies streamed over the Internet without an existing subscription to a cable or satellite provider.
Apple and Google have been attempting to do the very same thing with their devices and services but have yet to accomplish their goals. According to the report, Intel's set-top box will be better than what the Xbox 360 is currently offering and could eventually change the cable industry "as we know it."
Forbes says that industry insiders expect the device to be available through a limited beta trial for customers in March. According to the article, the set-top box from Intel "will offer cable channels delivered "over the top" to televisions anywhere there is an Internet connection regardless of provider."
Microsoft's Xbox Live offers TV programming through a limited selection of providers including Comcast and FiOS services. With Intel's planned box, customers will be able to subscribe to channels rather than a predetermined bundle package.
The device will also have access to Intel's existing application marketplace for apps, casual games, and video on demand. Forbes also says that customers will be able to subscribe per show, which would be a first for streaming devices.
Forbes' "industry insiders" say that the set-top box will feature a cloud-based DVR system that will allow users to store and watch programs after their normal time slot.
Intel has not made any official announcement about this supposed device, but the company's recent hires tend to give the story some weight. What do you think about this potential device? Do you think Intel can beat Microsoft, Apple, Sony and Google to the punch? Leave us a comment in the section below and tell us what you think.
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