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Chip Makes Video and Music Downloads Easier, Faster

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Every week MediaWorks’ Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Intel’s Viiv.

What it is: Intel’s newest technology is called Viiv (rhymes with “five”). Billed as a digital lifestyle enabler, Viiv’s a dual core chip at the heart of the technology that allows more streams of information to be processed at the same time, which is especially useful for video. The Viiv-enabled box in your living room could catalog, control and manage all your content from Web to personal photos to Hollywood blockbusters.

Who’s using it: Numbers pending as rollout has just begun. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, Intel said more than 110 companies would be making entertainment “boxes” built on Viiv technology. Many are already available, and a handful have promised sub-$900 launch prices.

Why you should care: The Viiv platform concept is a relatively new gimmick for Intel, but the company is marketing the digital lifestyle enabler to the tune of several hundred million dollars. They did the same thing with Centrino to great success. It’s still all about technology, though. Viiv is 68% faster and runs on 28% less power than any current chipset models, says Intel CEO Paul Otellini. For consumers, that means super-fly downloading and viewing of data-intense applications, again mostly video. Hooking it all up, however, could be a different story. Intel is at least talking the talk, with Mr. Otellini saying, “It’s not a battle between devices, but [the goal is] to make them all work together.”

Advertisers’ angle or angst? As people create, manipulate and control their own and purchased content in more places and on more devices, enabled by technology like Viiv, marketers are going to need to figure out how to make their messages relevant. Intel may say Viiv enables a digital lifestyle, but it’s how consumers decide to use it (or not) that bears watching.

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