Intel VP behind its OnCue Internet TV service may be jumping ship for Hulu

intel erik huggers oncue tv hulu ceo

Cord cutters everywhere are likely breathing a collective sigh of disappointment today as the New York Post reports that Erik Huggers, VP of Intel Media and the big brain behind Intel’s mysterious OnCue TV service, is apparently eye-balling the vacant CEO spot at Hulu – a fact that could mean trouble for Intel’s Internet TV plans. 

On its own, this might not seem like damning news – lots of people are gunning for the Hulu CEO position, and why shouldn’t Huggers? But when coupled with yesterday’s announcement that Intel is pushing OnCue’s release out to sometime in 2014 (ostensibly because it is having trouble sealing up licensing deals with networks so it can play popular TV shows through its set-top boxes), it’s hard not to wonder if Intel’s plan to deliver pay TV content directly to viewers over the Internet might be facing some insurmountable challenges. After all, if the guy who has spearheaded this project since its beginning is eyeballing the competition, could that mean anything good?

For those not familiar, Huggers has been trying to change the way people think of Intel by developing a piece of hardware that changes the way we watch TV. In an interview with Variety, Huggers noted that when most people think of Intel, they think of ‘Intel inside,’ a logical assumption considering the trademark made Intel a household name. But Huggers aims to change that perception by giving consumers a revolutionary product that they’ll likely touch every day: a set-top box that plays popular pay TV programs via the Internet. 

Huggers walled off his project from the rest of Intel two years ago to give it a sort of start-up vibe. And since then, OnCue has remained super-secret. But recent reports have shown that the box has made its way out of the development phase and into beta testing, with thousands of lucky Intel employees giving it an exclusive spin. That would indicate that the hardware has been developed, the software and user interface is being debugged, and that Intel is able to send at least some programming to the boxes via the Internet. But whatever that programming is, it isn’t good enough.  

For Intel to wrap the project up and start shipping to customers this year, it needed to forge some serious deals with big media companies like Viacom, Disney, NBC Universal, or Fox. Doing so would allow Intel to bring shows people actually want to watch without the involvement of a cable or satellite company. And apparently it hasn’t managed to do that yet because, although Intel has been drumming up a date that would coincide with the holiday season, it has abandoned that plan and pushed the launch date out into next year. 

Which leads us back to the issue of Huggers’ wandering eye: If Huggers would consider abandoning his baby to lead the company it was built to battle, could that mean ruin for the OnCue set-top box and service? Maybe, maybe not. A jump from VP to CEO of Hulu would be big, so it’s possible that Huggers is just fueled by career ambition. Or he’s abandoning ship before it sinks. According to the Post, both Huggers and Intel declined to comment, so, for now, we are left to speculate. 

What do you think? Is the timing of this news purely circumstantial, or is possible OnCue may never see the light of day? 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Smart Home

Amazon rejoins the fight against HIV/AIDS with a (Red) second-gen Echo

Now you can rock out to U2 and give to a good cause by buying Amazon's red Echo, a limited edition of the smart speaker that also donates money to the humanitarian organization Project (Red), founded by Bono.
Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E, which offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.