Is Viiv for you?Is Viiv for you?But first we must digress slightly: Think about your home; think about your multimedia devices. Lastly, consider how many you have in your home environment? Naturally if you are part of the first world, your list would be pretty long. It would probably include laptops, TV's, DVD players and a stereo system. If you are a large family, chances are you have several PC's in your household a couple of laptops, definitely more than one TV. This is considered normal.What if all these devices could be combined into a simple to use, convenient, yet powerful device? Interesting you might say. The truth is this cannot happen conveniently yet, unless you are Bill Gates with vast sums of money at your disposal. This is however, the goal of many companies and they intend doing it riding on your hard earned cash to get there. Many will say they have the answer and many would be wrong. Let's look at two major companies and what they can offer.
Intel is a marketing machine!Intel is a marketing machine!Intel is a dominant force in the PC industry. Just last year they were losing ground to AMD and looked set to continue this trend. Surprisingly for most of us except a very few hardened enthusiasts they managed to turn this around and now look set to gain lost ground and more unless AMD does something quick.Part of Intel's strategy to gain the market share back was to introduce the Viiv concept. It was a massively hyped marketing campaign designed to keep people's eye off the CPU race, while at the same time offering something unique and entertaining.Intel describes the digital home as containing these following items: Intel Viiv technologyNew Intel Platforms Drive Innovation for the Home and OfficeContent protectionVoice and converged communicationsBroadband wireless technologyUltra-Wideband (UWB) technologyUniversal Serial Bus (USB) technologyUPnP* technologyEach factor is a digital solution set to replace some or all of the components you already own in your digitally patchy home. Essentially these are Intel's answer to your cluttered and complicated network of digital appliances and computers.Let's take a closer look at what the Viiv promise is, and how it can make your life better:Intel's website states that "A new kind of personal computer will premiere in homes early in 2006 when Intel introduces Intel Viiv technology, designed to enrich consumers' enjoyment of digital entertainment"
More Viiv, less choiceMore Viiv, less choiceAdmittedly we have seen a recent trend from motherboard manufacturers to comply with Intel's wishes and create such a PC platform with many barebones PC's, Multimedia PC's and motherboards, all sporting the new Viiv logo.Naturally it can only contain Intel components and these components are naturally very specific in nature. Intel is an incredible marketing machine and all PC's brandishing the Viiv logo will contain all the ingredients necessary to make your Digital Home experience better than ever - at least that's the word from the folks at Intel.
Wrap it up already...Wrap it up already...Intel has been working hand in hand with an increasing selection of the world's biggest entertainment providers to bring you exclusive access to movies, downloaded TV, music, games and photos directly through their Viiv interface, available only with a Viiv certified PC system.Added to this, Intel proposes to take things further by incorporating several proprietary technologies such as Clear View technology- Intel's advanced graphics engine built into chipsets. Coupled with this they promise seamless integration for the media PC to be a hub of connectivity of several viewing sources from the same media PC.What this means is that end-users can link via a wireless, or a wired network within the home and stream media to several sources like laptops, other PC's and remote wireless speakers, all controlled through the Viiv PC.Admittedly if you have a wireless network in your home, this will be extremely useful and convenient.
Core 2 Duo always and foreverCore 2 Duo always and forever
On the other hand...On the other hand...If you are a DIY enthusiast and require a more detailed approach, with exacting components specifically bought for each aspect of your lovingly built PC, then AMD Live! is probably something you should consider.AMD Live! is a balanced approach to Digital Home. Instead of prescribing specifics such as which technology you should be using, AMD Live! instead ascribes to the "Digital Home" ideal.In AMD's words: "With AMD LIVE!, consumers can get a flexible choice for enhanced home entertainment experiences. AMD LIVE! systems are feature-rich, multimedia PCs with advanced configurations. Requirements include AMD64 dual-core technology (Socket AM2), Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition ( Windows Vista Premium or Ultimate when they become available), the latest in video and audio, as well as 1GB memory. A TV Tuner and remote control are optional." So in other words, this system gives flexibility where Intel's Viiv system provides boxed cages of technology.
AMD Live!AMD Live!Vista ready platforms are already available and will enhance the users experience with communications, home video, games, music and photos. In fact with all kinds of multimedia, thus enriching your lives and providing selected content to enhance the user experience through the use of the internet and streaming it throughout the entire Digital Home. Additional features proprietary to the AMD Live! platform include increased internet security and content reliability.
Conclusive? Nope, but getting thereConclusive? Nope, but getting thereOf the two solutions, the cheapest way to be part of the new wave of Digital Home solutions is to join the AMD Live! scheme, however, if you are looking at upgrading everything you have, but don't want the fuss of a DIY approach, it may be worth considering Intel Viiv because it's just easier to buy a whole complete system already made and set-up which you can just plug in and it works.The other way is similar except that you would have to shop around for various pieces to put the puzzle together in the way that you desire.
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