Competition is, on the whole, a good thing for consumers as it tends to result in greater selection and variety — as well as lower prices. One area commonly criticised for high pricing is cable TV. Sure, there are already a fair amount of players in this market, especially with new offerings like Google (News - Alert) Fiber joining in. But Google Fiber is only available in Kansas City for now.
Fortunately, there may be another major company looking to step into the role of television provider. That company is Intel, according to rumors.
Indeed, the company better known for its commercial and enterprise computer hardware — including processors, motherboards and solid state drives —is apparently getting ready to roll out its own TV service and set top box. Described by many as a "virtual cable service," Intel's (News - Alert) television offering is meant to compete directly with existing cable providers, rather than supplementing their services.
As for what "virtual cable services" means, some are suggesting that Intel will bundle together traditional TV services alongside streaming TV services. Currently, there is speculation as to whether Intel is planning to launch its own streaming media service, or if it will merely pair off with existing providers such as Netflix and Amazon.
Again according to rumors, Intel's plan is to enact a city-by-city rollout of this new service as a way to facilitate making deals with content providers. Of course, there are no details available in terms of when, where and how this rollout will occur. However, since Intel is expected to show off a working version of its set top box at CES (News - Alert) next week, these details can't be too far off.
Either way, this will be an unprecedented expansion for Intel that may be viewed as a way for the company to increase revenue in the face of waning PC sales. The company also took its first steps into the mobile world over the last year with its Medfield Atom processors.