We've seen several reports over the last week about Intel's set-top box efforts, and an impending CES launch. According to GigaOM, some of those rumors simply aren't true. The site has confirmed with several sources at Intel that a set-top box (and a whole lot more) is in the works, but a CES announcement has not been planned. Instead, Media, the mysterious Intel division, which is run like a startup with staffers hired from other Silicon Valley companies rather than shifted from different departments, could be unveiled in March, or perhaps even at the AllThingsD Dive Into Media conference in February.
A detailed GigaOM report outlines the company's plans, which do include a STB manufactured by Intel that would compete with Apple TV, but also solutions for other platforms, including computers, tablets and smartphones. According to GigaOM sources, the company has spent more than $100 million on Intel Media, so it's clearly taking the effort seriously. Still, until Intel Media has been exposed to the market, it's too soon to judge its success. Hit up our source link for the full scoop.
Update: Now the Wall Street Journal has chimed in, with its own reports from usual unnamed sources indicating that a launch could be pushed as far as Q4. The reason for the wide launch window? Trouble negotiating content agreements for those unbundled packages (at much higher rates than the channels currently receive) it reportedly wants to offer, although the rumors say Intel has reached at least one content deal -- we're guessing it wasn't with ESPN. Whether this will ever appear or simply remain vapor like so many other rumored Intel software products remains to be seen, but just like the often hinted at Apple television, the licensing issues will probably be much harder to work out than any software or hardware.