Intel is set to unveil hardware and software for new portable personal video players, which will allow users to play high-quality videos and photos on a handheld device, a bulletin to technology reporters and analysts said.

The players, to be manufactured by various as-yet unnamed vendors, will also let users download video clips from personal video recorders (PVRs), television set top boxes like Tivo that records programs digitally onto large hard disks.

This means consumers can save television shows to a small device for later viewing while outside the home.

The devices will be previewed to technology reporters and analysts today, according to the Intel advisory.

The devices will certainly exacerbate the ongoing battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, over the abilities of consumers to manipulate digital versions of movies, music and other content.

The entertainment industry argues that such devices allow for wholesale copyright infringement, and have been reluctant to put films and other content into digital versions. Silicon Valley companies argue that these digital devices are inevitable.

Currently, a consortium of television network and Hollywood studios are suing a Silicon Valley company called SonicBlue, over their latest “Replay” PVR which lets users e-mail digitally recorded television shows to other Replay users.