Chip-making giant Intel debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week a new mini computer designed to plug into the HDMI port of a television or monitor.
The pocket-sized Compute Stick includes and Intel Atom processor, Wi-Fi capability and 32 gigabytes of storage capacity, with the ability to add more resources through SD card capacity.
A version running Windows 8.1 is priced at $149 and will arrive at retail at the end of the first quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. A Linux-only version retailing for $89 is also planned.
And yes, the device represents yet another over-the-top threat to pay-TV operators. In addition to "thin client" applications like digital signage, Intel also sees the device as a tool for video streaming and videogaming.
Intel, of course, is more known for system-on-a-chip (SoC) products that supply the backbone of various computer and CE brand products. The Compute Stick is one of the few times the tech company has entered the retail market directly with its own product.
"They are testing the waters," said Envisioneering analyst Richard Doherty to the Wall Street Journal. "It's one of the more interesting announcements at this CES."
- read this Wall Street Journal story
Broadcom introduces chipset for HDMI set-top dongle
Operator to launch MobiTV streaming HDMI stick in first half of this year
Stick it to the streamers: Comparing Chromecast, Roku and the Fire Stick