Intel has announced a new consumer platform brand, Viiv, which will focus on home entertainment by making high-powered PC hardware easy to use and giving it networking capabilities.
Viiv-based PCs will integrate music, movies, photos and games, and will come with a remote as the main user controller for the PC.
Don MacDonald, Intel Corp.s vice president and general manager of the Digital Home group, unveiled Viiv (rhymes with “five”) at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco. Intel will ship Viiv during the first quarter of 2006.
MacDonald said the new platform includes a dual-core processor, 5.1 surround sound, wired networking and an optional TV tuner card.
This same PC will be able to record, pause and rewind live TV programs, and store them on the hard drive for later viewing.
Viiv PCs will also include PVR functionality, which allows users to record TV programs and to pause and rewind shows in real time.
Running Windows Media Center Edition, Viiv will also include media server software that will be able to stream content to different devices, such as PCs, TVs and phones with displays, and will automatically “transcode” the content to the different resolutions and file formats.
“The consumer wants to be able to play any content on any device,” MacDonald said, adding that the conversion between file formats needs to be invisible to the home user. “Some consumers dont even know what a file format is.”
Editors Note: This story was updated to include additional information and comments from the interview.