Could Intel Be the Next Big Threat to Netflix and Redbox?

Just why or how the company is doing so isn’t clear, but Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has confirmed it will be making hardware to stream video, including live television and on-demand content.

Rumors had been going around that the company was working on the hardware to stream video over the Internet to TV sets, but those rumors have gained truth as Intel Media’s corporate VP Erik Hugger confirmed that the company is, in fact, making such hardware.

The service wouldn’t be so different from those offered by Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Redbox (NASDAQ:CSTR). All three offer streaming video over the public Internet, compared to satellite and cable networks that traditional providers use. However, Intel will have one advantage that has eluded Netflix for some time and that RedBox hasn’t gotten its hands on yet.

The live television and on-demand content that Intel has announced isn’t something Netflix or Redbox offer, and it could be a key point for winning over customers. If Intel can match content quality and amounts to Netflix and RedBox while also exclusively offering live content, it may be able to steal customers from both sides of the fence…

A multilevel service like this can draw in customers who currently only use online services to watch video but want more, only use traditional cable or satellite but want online video, or pay for both traditional and online services but want it all in one package.

Intel’s new hardware and service could prove a disruptor for the current television and video-streaming situation, but there are still many unknowns. Intel didn’t clarify whether it was working on a set-top box or built-in hardware for TVs. Intel also didn’t say which content providers, if any, have signed on to offer live and on-demand video. The service would have a hard time competing with existing platforms, both on and offline, without easily accessible hardware and desirable content.

As the hardware is expected this year, more developments should be coming available at a relatively quick rate.

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