RealTime IT News

AMD's Live! Try

The digital living room has a new guest.

AMD introduced its Live! brand for consumer PCs into the home, saying it will provide a better multimedia experience with a different approach than Intel's.

The company established its Live! brand to push its 64-bit processors to media professionals in film, broadcast and music.

Now with a suite of multimedia-related software and 25GB of free online storage for music, photo and video files, which can be stored automatically, AMD has expanded its target audience to consumers.

One part of the AMD Live! Entertainment Suite is the Orb Networks service. Orb streams live or pre-recorded television programs, photos, music and movies to Web-connected devices.

AMD Live! Compress is a tool for recording television content in a compressed format AMD said can save up to ten times as many programs stored in an uncompressed format.

Another service, Network Magic, helps with the setup, management and security of a home network.

"It's the same type of thing Intel is trying to do with Viiv, which is to define a home PC more clearly," Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, told internetnews.com.

Intel has been promoting its Viiv (rhymes with "five") brand, a competing multimedia standard for PCs based on its processors and certain other hardware standards.

But while both companies support Windows Media edition software and dual-core processors as part of its standard offering, AMD insists it's going in a different direction.

"Our competitor is focused on premium content to the home," Teresa de Onis, an AMD desktop product manager, told internetnews.com. "We're focused on applications and services for mainstream consumers."

Last year Intel announced it was investing in Clickstar, an on-demand movie provider headed by actor Morgan Freeman.

Gateway, Acer, Alienware and several other lesser-known PC makers have signed on to support AMD Live! in systems due in June. And HP has started shipping systems today. Notebook systems based on AMD Live! will ship in the second half of this year, the company said.

"Today customers are looking for PCs that will allow them to view, interact and play new content from broadcast television to music to games," Tom Anderson, HP's vice president of marketing, global consumer PCs, said in a statement.

Anyone can download multimedia services and software for AMD dual-core processors for free at the AMD Live Web site. Systems must also meet certain other requirements such as enough graphics capability to support Microsoft's forthcoming Aero interface in Vista.

The Live! PC makers will have the option to pre-install the software and services later in the year, said de Onis.