NEW YORK—Intel Corp. is working to open the door to the digital home.
The chip makers Digital Home Group is architecting new hardware platforms and contributing to networking and device interoperability standards.
The goal is to simplify product design and help remove the barriers—both physical and related to software and networking incompatibilities—which largely prevent home electronics from sharing music, video and other multimedia content, said Don MacDonald, general manager of Intels Digital Home Group.
MacDonald gave the opening keynote here at Digital Life, a three-day consumer technology and entertainment trade show produced by Ziff Davis Media, the parent company of Ziff Davis Internet.
MacDonald argued that the convergence of computers and consumer devices for music, television and movies has already occurred.
PCs can play music, television, movies and other multimedia and, soon, televisions will be capable of acting like PCs.
But despite the capabilities of their hardware, computer and consumer electronics industries have yet to sort out how to distribute and display all of the content that is available to consumers in one form or another.
However, Intel has a plan to make more content available, MacDonald said. The company will pitch Viiv, a forthcoming PC hardware platform, as a sort of United Nations of digital content for home PCs. Viiv PCs will include familiar elements such as Intels dual-core Pentium chips.
However, they will also include a media server that can translate file formats, such as video, on the fly. The media server can thus link stand-alone home media devices and remove the road blocks that have prevented them from working together thus far.
"We know that the world basically has been transformed" by hardware convergence, MacDonald said. So, now, "The question is no longer, What do we make? We must ask, What do we make possible?"