What's Intel up to with VIIV?

At the beginning of his CES keynote, where I'm sitting now, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said "We expect a wifi connection at the coffee shop, and we're disappointed when we dont get it." Well, the same goes for the CEO keynotes at trade shows. And there's no wi-fi here. But I have a bluetooth bridge to the net through my cell phone, so these are my public notes about the keynote, live — or as close as my typing can get to it. If I'm the only one reporting "Viiv live" here (pun intended), I've got a scoop in progress.

Okay, so... First, Intel actually introduced two new CPUs here. The first is its Core Duo, a dual-core for general and countless purposes. It's main virtues are low power consumption, and mutiple process execution. The other is the much-awaited VIIV ("vive" as in "vibe"). [Later note: A reader in the comments below points out that Viiv is a platform for entertainment PCs, much as Centrino is a platform for mobile computing. It includes a processor, but is not itself a processor. The two new processors are Core Solo and Core Duo.]

Some of us (myself included) have been concerned about the DRM capabilities reportedly built into ViiV, but in his presentation Otellini made clear that Viiv has been in development with Microsoft, as a new Wintel platform for home entertainment that comprises the next generation of Microsoft's home media offering.

There are 110 OEMs already. "The end of TV as you know it", "all served up over the internet".

There's a kieretsu of sorts here. DirecTV, for example. AOL. NBC,

It's being presented as the Complete Replacement for TV.

"A chance for broadcasters and rights-holders to extend their franchise".

"More choices for us as consumers. And more choices for content-makers".

"Premium films to the home, over the Internet".

What about non-OEMs? Good luck. This is a juggernaunt.

I'll post this now, and add more later.


"A chance for broadcasters and rights-holders to extend their franchise".

"More choices for us as consumers. And more choices for content-makers".

"Premium films to the home, over the Internet".

Clickstar. New company bought by Intel. Delivering Hollywood goods. Very loudly.

They just brought out Morgan Freeman and an executive of some sort. Morgan is reading from the prompter. Sad.

He's introducing danny devito, tom hanks, others. Lordy. Will they be ;'prompt3ed as well? Not hanks. "

"{We've been waiting backstage for three hours..."

DiVito: "Clickstar will give us the opportunity..."

One speaker is the director of Bruce Almighty, in which Morgan played God.

"Excited about ideas..."

"the idea of the tranlation of ideas to people"

When will they talk about DRM? It's THE topic.

Hanks is tlaking. Looking and sounding great. Danny DiVito gets a phone call.
DiVito and hanks are comics, and it's working. Dammit.

DiVito looks even shorter in real life.

"the future is here in the form of clickstar"

"might not be seen in any other venue"

A film released in theaters and in broadband. "Ten items or less" is it.


Okay, it's over.

This is an Intel-Microsoft story. All about Windows Media, but barely mentioning it. I think that's because the OEM that matters to Intel most here is the one company that would never allow itself to be smeared with the OEM label: Apple.

I'm sure Apple will use ViiV too. Although they might use Core Duo. Of course, we don't know right now. But I'm betting they'll use ViiV, because it's the dual-core processor with DRM features. And Apple needs to truck with Hollywood, and leapfrog those 110 OEMs with something slicker and cooler and all that.

Since Michael Dell (yep, he did a turn on stage too) showed off a huge 20-inch laptop, I'm betting Apple introduces one too.

Missing: hand-held stuff. That's Apple's territory now. Expect shoes to drop there too, at Steve Jobs' keynote next week.

Meanwhile, Linux is, naturally, nowhere.

Or, everywhere.

I think the new sweet spot in the market is in the open, non-DRM'd part — the part that's non-Microsoft and non-Apple, even if it's still Intel Inside.

Think about this. The best screens you can get in the next year will be 1080p full-HD displays. And the best source of "content" (man, I hate that word) for those screens will be high-definition camcorders. Fiber to the home is still a rarity, and even high-def digital cable and satellite aren't due to deliver 1080-grade resolution. Meaning the best source of the best-looking stuff will be: ourselves.

Once again, the demand side will supply itself. Mostly without DRM or any of that other use-throttling jive. Open will win where it matters.

Or so I hope.


Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal


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Good news sir

minikperi's picture

very good news

VIIV technology

Serg's picture

Looks like that Apple will use ViiV too.
I fully agree with you.
I hope the popularity of Linux will not decrease.

Apple and Disney

Ron Roberts's picture

Now that Steve Jobs owns a big chunk of Disney, the Apple/Intel deal is
beginning to make more sense. If Steve can bring it all together, seamlessly, that cartel could be a cash machine to rival MicroSoft.

Thanks Doc - Me personally -

Anonymous's picture

Thanks Doc - Me personally - I will avoid anything that has DRM (at least if I know it and I count on ethical journalist like you to point them out).

DRM is nothing but another way for Microsoft to "innovate" and lock the rest of the industry out. Just like the open document. They will always chose to lock their customers in and keep choice out.
It is their duty to their stockholders.

I still can't believe SGI sold patent rights to them for openGL - I am so sick of Microsoft I have really thought about changing careers.

I am also sick of the "users are idiots" mentality. It is nothing but a smoke screen for taking their digital rights away.

People aren't idiots when it comes to their civil rights and they deserve a choice of platforms and software. These choices are being taken away day by day and it needs to stop.

So keep posting doc you bring sanity to what is becoming a chaotic lawsuit happy industry.

Viiv is not a processor

Anonymous's picture

You misunderstood something, Viiv is not a processor. It's a platform for entertainment PCs which among other chips contains a processor, in the same way that Centrino combines a processor with other chips to provide a mobile computing platform .

There really are two new processors though: the dual-core "Core Duo" and the the single-core "Core Solo".

Helpful correction

Doc Searls's picture

Thanks. That wasn't made clear in the talk. Or if it was, I missed it.

For the curious, here's Intel's CES news page.

Will a hardware maker, such as Apple, be able to get the same kind of hardware-level DRM support that Viiv provides, without the Viiv platform?

By the way, David Berlind has the current story, with links, about opposition to Apple's existing (not to mention planned) DRM.

Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal

Keep up the good work!

Alex Alvarez's picture

After reading LJ for many years, only subscribed for a few, I have to say that until recently I did not pay much attention to your column at all, and much less your blog. Certainly your mag column is not as old as LJ itself, but it has been running for a few years now. And all this time, I've ignored it wrongly thinking it was completely irrelevant. Now I know different. You always have something new from a different perspective. Sometimes more extensive than others, but all good..keep up the good work!


Doc Searls's picture

I really appreciate comments like this one.

And I also appreciate the indulgence of the good folks at Linux Journal, starting with Phil Hughes, who recruited me in the first place. I'm the least technical editor at the magazine, and my perspective sometimes gets so elevated you'd wonder if I'm still breathing oxygen.

But I always try to come at issues form angles nobody else does, and to think out loud about problems others might miss. I'm always happy when it works, and I always try to learn something when it doesn't.

It's a great job for an old dog who still likes to learn new tricks.

Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal