Although it won't hit Australian reseller shelves until March, Intel's new digital entertainment platform Viiv (rhymes with alive) is already gracing the back rooms of a number of local manufacturers.
Launched globally at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Intel's Viiv platform consists of the Pentium D processor, a new purpose-build chipset and a range of digital media content deals with hundreds of different providers including Google, AOL, Yahoo and Ubisoft.
National marketing manager for Intel Australia, Kate Burleigh, said 15-20 digital home entertainment systems based on the new Viiv platform would be available in Australia, from a mixture of local and global vendors.
For the March launch, local manufacturers such as Claritas, Computer Alliance, Alloys International, Altech and Pioneer Computers will take their place alongside digital media units from international vendors such as HP and Lenovo.
"The Viiv platform is a great opportunity for resellers and local manufacturers to target niche markets with innovative product design," she said. "Viiv is an easy proposition for manufacturers because it comes with the guarantee that the processor and the chipset will work well together, work well with media software and provide access to digital content. And we'll be out there making a lot of noise through the media."
Burleigh said Intel had also been working with content providers to ensure locally produced digital material is available at launch.
Intel will be announcing at least six local digital content providers in the areas of personal creativity (photo and video editing), video streaming, music and games software.
Managing director of local digital media-centre systems Claritas, Andy Welch, said Intel's Viiv platform would provide an important impetus in the market for digital home entertainment units, not in the least because the local launch would bring with it substantial marketing capital.
"Viiv really nails down the digital-media configuration, and brings new functionality to digital-media units," he said. "But it is not so much the introduction of the Viiv platform but the branding and the marketing that will open up a lot of eyes, and get the market past the early adopters to the next level of consumers."