Intel Brings Internet, Media Content Providers Under Viiv Platform

Updated: Chip vendor Intel brings together an A-List cast for its Viiv PC platform rollout at the CES show in Las Vegas: Internet players AOL and Google, and Hollywood content makers.

LAS VEGAS—As glimpsed from the keynote stage here, Intel Corp. could be said to have a new slogan: Viiv Las Vegas.

Paul Otellini, CEO of the chip giant, outlined plans to bring a wide range of content, from sports to first-run movies, to anyone with a broadband Internet connection and a remote control using its new Viiv PC platform, during a Thursday night keynote at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show here.

While it incorporates new hardware and software, including Intels latest Core Duo and Pentium D 900 series chips, Viiv represents the companys larger effort to bring together a variety of content and display it on a range of devices, including televisions and handhelds.

The new platform will spawn several different types of desktop PCs and let users seamlessly access and share music, movies, television and other media.

"What consumers have today is an Internet video experience thats experienced in front of a … PC" from about 2 feet away, Otellini said. "What consumers really want—what they tell us they want—is a big screen [that can be seen from afar and operating via a remote control] in the living room or in the bedroom."

This prompted Intel to design Viiv from the ground up to become the conduit for the big screen, the silver screen as well as sports arenas and concerts, among other things, Otellini said.

Intels efforts to build the Viiv platform included developing new hardware and software. However, Otellini indicated that gathering support for the platform proved the most difficult task, particularly when it came to Hollywood. Out of the 110 companies that are supporting Viiv at launch, 60 are content providers. Actors Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks and Danny DeVito also joined him on stage to show their support for the platforms ability to distribute films via the Internet.

Intels Many Friends

Intel boasts alliances with Google, ClickStar Inc., DirecTV Inc., NBC and ESPN in addition to AOL and several others. Consumers who purchase Viiv PCs, which also come with Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP Media Center Edition, will gain access to the services offered by these partners, assuming the consumer has a broadband Internet connection. Executives from ClickStar, DirecTV and AOL also joined Otellini on stage.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about Sonys Instant Video Everywhere service.

ClickStar, founded in part by Freeman, was created this summer in an effort to offer first-run movies via broadband within weeks of release in theaters. The company, in addition, aims to host movies created exclusively for Internet distribution, they said. ClickStars first online film premier will be a comedy titled "10 Items or Less" and will star Freeman and Paz Vega.

"The idea is for people to control their own material from start to finish and get in front of audience that wants to see it," Hanks said.

Next Page: Internet kingpins target Viivs video playlist.