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Intel Drops Broadband TV Bomb

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The most recognizable Grandpa story involves a multi-mile trek to a one-room schoolhouse in the most oppressive inclement weather up a spinning hillbarefoot. Let me be the first to call it. Intel and a bunch of others have just delivered our generation’s Grandpa story.

It goes something like this:

“When I was a kid, we had 3 channels on a black white heavy diagonal tube.’ And we only had one-we had to share. And the twisty knob that you changed channels with (yes on the TV) always fell off and you had to find a pair of pliers if you wanted to turn it!”

Intel Corp. sent out something like 12 announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday. While everyone was talking about AMD’s noble effort to outpace Intel in the PC and dual-core market, Intel was working on Viiv (rhymes with five) and spinning deals with largest search, content, hardware, and entertainment players in the business.

And they dropped it on us all at once, settling the speculation that 2006 will be the year of broadband TV. Viiv has been worked into deals involving Google, AOL, DIRECTV, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting, ESPN, Grupo Televisa, Eros, Shanghai Media Group, MTV, and ClickStar.

The Viiv technology is for a new platform for “entertainment PCs” that work as a PC/TV hybrid, allowing users to download, store, view, manage and share digital entertainment and information on TVs, PCs, laptops, and portable media devices. That means songs, movies, TV programs, games, and websites anywhere you want, but most notably on your living room TV, whether your TV is in an English or Spanish speaking country, or India, or China.

PCs based on the Intel Viiv technology platform will be able to support high-definition video, surround sound and other features.

Intel’s stated goal: infinite hours of digital programming available worldwide.

I can’t make my leg stop shaking.

Here’s a rundown of the digital programming/technology agreements from the various companies:

AOL: AOL Music On Demand, AOL Radio featuring XM Satellite RadioAOL Pictures, AOL Music Now, and AOL Video featuring the “AOL Hi-Q” high-quality video format are all to be delivered via Viiv.

Google: Intel and Google announced plans to bring Google Video to the Viiv technology platform to give consumers an easy way to search, manage and consume the huge amount of video information available on the Internet “from the comfort of their couch.”

ClickStar: The entertainment company will introduce its first film, “10 Items or Less,” via the Internet just weeks after its theatrical release. The movie was produced by Revelations Entertainment, the production company headed by Morgan Freeman and business partner Lori McCreary, with investment from Intel.

DIRECTV: The digital TV service provider will make its programming available on PCs, laptops and media players through its verified set-top box. The two companies also plan to collaborate on the development of a PC tuner that would enable DIRECTV customers to view programming on their computers.

Shanghai Media Group: China’s top media group will deliver its digital movies, TV dramas, exclusive interactive programming and other live content over the Internet on their PCs and other devices. The second-largest media distributor in China and the first in the country to receive an IPTV and mobile TV operation license, SMG owns 13 analog television channels, 11 analog radio channels, two newspapers and two magazines, and also produces, licenses and distributes domestic, Korean and Japanese content.

Eros: The largest international distributor in the Indian film industry (“Bollywood”) plans to make its digital content portal and future digital video services available on-demand. Intel’s collaboration with Eros International will enable the company to deliver its content library over broadband Internet connections to more than 50 million South Asian consumers plus millions of other consumers around the globe through Intel Viiv technology-based PC platforms.

Grupo Televisa: The largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world will provide a wide choice of popular soap operas, sporting events, news and music.

ESPN: ESPN.com Motion will feature sports highlights in high definition plus Full Court with 300 collegiate basketball games in full-screen broadcast quality.

MTV Networks: MTV said it will optimize a number of its channels for Intel Viiv technology ranging from Comedy Central’s “MotherLoad” to MTV’s “Overdrive.”

NBC Universal: NBC Universal will deliver select highlights in high resolution of all 17 days of the 2006 Winter Olympics to Intel Viiv technology-based PCs, with other joint efforts later.

Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap: TBS’ GameTap is an on-demand video game library that will be made available.

Intel Drops Broadband TV Bomb
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