Tom Hanks turns out to launch Viiv

Written by Wil Harris

January 6, 2006 | 07:38

Tags: #clickstar #hollywood #launch #morgan-freeman #viiv

Companies: #intel

This evening, Intel has officially unveiled its Viiv platform here at the Consumer Electronics Show. Saying that "Technology moves from new to normal very quickly", Intel's CEO said that living room computing wasn't exactly normal right now - but that the convergence of processing, broadband and digital online content, in combination with open standards, would push us over the threshold of a new digital entertainment era.


Tom Hanks, Danny DeVito and Morgan Freeman were rolled out to promote Clickstar, one of the many content providers Intel is working with to provide premium content to Viiv machines. Hanks waxed lyrical about the service, which offers movies on demand to customers. "Clickstar offers the opportunities for artists to control the material and get it in front of an audience that wants to see it," he said.

Morgan Freeman announced that his new film, '10 items or less', will be the first film debuting on ClickStar and cinemas at the same time. Freeman added, "If you can't get a ticket to the premiere, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own sofa at the same time."

Viiv content

Don MacDonald, the man in charge of Viiv, showcased Gametap, an on-demand gaming service that will provide some fairly simple content to gamers via the net, streaming. He also showed off some new PCs, including a Core Duo machine that is completely passive. He suggested that PCs will be available from $900 up. He also revealed that more Viiv features will be rolled out across the year, with software updates being made available to existing customers.

Otellini presented what he believed would be the future of TV - a worldwide audience. He showcased several content producers from India, China and Spain that would be distributing their content via Viiv PCs, allowing for native language speakers to enjoy the local content wherever in the world they might be. We can only hope that more mainstream companies get on board - no more waiting 6 months for the new season of 24 in the UK!

One of the first mainstream content providers to jump on board is AOL, who is making its In2TV service available, free, to Viiv users. Intel is also working with NBC to bring the Olympic Winter games to Viiv PCs. It's not full broadcast, but it will be personalised and customised content streaming straight to your Viiv PC.

Core Duo and Centrino Duo

Sean Maloney, head of the mobile division at Intel, officially unveiled the Centrino Duo brand, saying that the dual core performance would enable a revolution in portable performance. Otellini called the Core Duo chip, the next iteration of Pentium M (codenamed Yonah) 'Our first new premium brand since Pentium'. He went on to recall that it took Intel a year to ship 1 million of the original Pentium chips. It will take Intel 3 weeks to ship 1 million Core Duos.

Whilst Viiv has come under fire for making Viiv little more than a brand name for Media Center boxes, tonight's display seems to indicate that software is just as important to the platform as hardware is.

Now Viiv is officially here, how do you think it will measure up? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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