Intel’s Media Box May Bring 4K to the Masses

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Intel 4K box might be the answer to Ultra HD delivery

Intel announced Wednesday that its new Haswell processors would support 4K resolution. If those chips end up in Intel’s forthcoming set-top box, we could finally see the 4K box to connect 4K content with all those new Ultra HDTV’s. Intel has been keen to get an all-in-one set-top box to consumers, in an attempt to enter the TV market.

Display manufacturers are pushing Ultra HDTV’s hard this year, with several already for sale today — including the Seiki’s $1,300 Ultra HDTV, and Sony’s $5,000 4K TV. Sony is releasing a $700 4K media player this Summer, but it is expected to only work with Sony 4K TV’s, and appears limited in its initial movie launch lineup. Intel is in a great position to bring a universal 4K set-top box to the remaining non-Sony market.

Erik Huggers, Intel’s VP of Media, told the group at ‘Dive Into Media’ that the box also will support streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon, who are both busy working on 4K delivery. Netflix chief product officer, Neil Hunt, told the Verge that streaming will be the best way to get 4K video and it should appear with in a year or two.

The Intel device would provide 4K video using HDMI and an existing broadband connection. Using the newly ratified HEVC codec, 4K streaming data drops from 50Mbps to 10Mbps, a number that most ISP’s can deal with — or at least try to.

4K TV is coming to your living room at an unstoppable pace, and Intel has the hardware to make it happen.


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About the Author

Andrew Michael is the Founder of Ultra HDTV Magazine. His interest in the technology began in 2008, before the term "Ultra HD" became mainstream. Andrew has contributed numerous articles, and continues to evolve Ultra HDTV into the ultimate Ultra High Definition resource.

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