Intel talks set-top box for 2013: traditional TV's last gasp

This week there's a bit of an insider tip floating about speaking on Intel's very first HDTV set-top box, on that'll be offered at retail for web-streamed live TV. This device is said to be working with web connectivity that needs no television package plan, therefor aiming to do the traditional TV industry a blow that could be their last. In other words, Cablevision, Comcast, Charter Communications, and Time Warner Cable beware.

This service has been revealed by author Tieran Ray of Barron's, a fellow who seems to be a real supporter of the future or internet-only big-set entertainment. He's made clear his viewing of a TV service at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California, and he says it'll be coming with an "over the top" video connection to change the industry. Ray described the user interface for this system as follows:

"Without giving too much away – the user interface seemed to hover beautifully above the currently playing show. An elegant simple menu made it easy to switch between channels or to pick and rent a recent film. It was light years from the cumbersome garbage that takes up most of the screen when using a standard cable-channel picker." – Ray

It's noted that the lead of this project is Erik Huggers, also known as the creator of the BBC's iPlayer system and 2-year veteran at Intel. Huggers is said to have approached his television-aimed mission at the company differently than he'd originally been assigned. Instead of working wit the television chip industry – not a very profitable one at the moment, he suggested the company attack the "$500 billion television market" in a way that's all Intel's own.

Huggers spoke on how the box Intel plans on creating will inspire an "iPhone-like lust" and that it'll "surprise and delight" viewers with features on top of features as their service evolves. At the moment, Intel is not ready to say which content providers they've got confirmed to come aboard and which groups they're yet to work with, but Huggers has suggested that "incredibly serious engagement" has been the regular sight with "every programmer" they've spoken with thus far.

We'll likely see a service – and an actual, physical device of some sort or another – coming from Intel before the end of 2013.