From a pure hardware-centric, computing enthusiast perspective, Intel Viiv is great. Having base hardware and software standards, guaranteeing a certain level of functionality, is great for both consumers and manufacturers. It also assists software developers, who are given a much clearer target to work towards.
Viiv machines will also give a new experience in home theatre computing. To date, a computer attached to your TV was still very much a standard computer, no matter how funky and streamlined the case. Viiv machines have the potential to behave much more like highly advanced PVRs, requiring less computing knowledge while still delivering the functionality of a computer.
The problem with Viiv is the shift towards DRM and DTCP-IP. Despite Intel claiming that they are not promoting content protection, there's no denying that they have handed content providers a golden money press. In its many forms DRM has, so far, made not the slightest dint in media piracy. There's nothing that can't be broken, and nothing which hasn't been. All that DRM does is confuse and frustrate end users, who end up paying more money for content that's not necessarily better. "Premium" content generally refers to the price tag.
So while Intel is doing everything in its power to stay at arm's-length from the bad press that DRM inevitably attracts, this may prove to be a false hope in the long term.
For consumers, Viiv is a strange mix of good news and bad. As it matures, we can only hope that the pendulum will swing across to good.
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