RealTime IT News

TiVo, Intel Hook Up on New Technology

English language purists might cringe, but it may not be long before consumers routinely talk about "TiVoing" their favorite TV show to a Viiv PC.

Intel and TiVo announced today that they are working together on a new TiVo application. It will let subscribers securely transfer their favorite television programs from the TiVo digital video recorder to a PC based on Intel's forthcoming Viiv technology using only a remote control.

Intel said its hardware partners will release the first Viiv (rhymes with jive) PCs in the first quarter of 2006. The TiVo application, an extension of its TiVoToGo feature, is due out in the first half of next year, to be offered at no additional cost as part of its service offering.

"TiVo is smart to get as many partners as they can to extend their platform," Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, told internetnews.com. "And it's good move by Intel, which wants to drive the next generation of content through their architecture."

Previewed at Intel's developer's conference in August, Viiv PCs will hold a package of Intel technologies, including a dual-core processor, chipset, platform software and wired networking capabilities. Viiv PCs are expected to be available in a variety of form factors from computer and consumer technology manufacturers.

"For us, this is a differentiator," Jim Denney, vice president of product marketing at TiVo, told internetnews.com. "We know there will be different models of the digital home, and this is a good installment for us to further that cause."

The TiVo/Intel hookup was part of a larger announcement by the chipmaker today, which said it is working with a wide variety of movie, music, television, gaming and photo-editing companies around the world. The aim is to make it easier for consumers to receive, manage and share Internet-delivered entertainment. Intel specifically mentioned Creative and Dell as two companies working on portable media devices for digital content that can be transferred to Viiv PCs.

"This is about Intel Viiv technology-based PCs not only connecting to the TV," said Kevin Corbett, a vice president at Intel's digital home group, "but also delivering the latest movies at home, creating 'music DJs,' playing games and showcasing home photos and videos. It's a 'one-stop-shop' for entertainment."

In a nod to consumers, Intel said Viiv PCs will emphasize ease of use, familiar remote control access devices and a kind of instant-on capability that Intel calls "quick resume." A Viiv will still have to go through a PC-like startup sequence, but once booted, it can be shut off and on and return to its original state instantly.

All PCs based on Intel Viiv technology will ship with a remote control, the Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition operating system and media software Intel said will be designed to let consumers interact with the PC in the same way they operate a TV. Consumers will be able to, for example, watch a movie or play a game while also downloading the latest music, via a remote control.