Room for everyone in Intel's Viiv vision

Intel's Viiv platform was launched last week at Sydney's Fox Studios. The company confirmed a series of local manufacturing and content provision partners, and reinforced its intention to spend big on marketing to get the Viiv platform off the ground.

Intel Australia general manager, Philip Cronin, said independent retailers should not be put off by the focus on the mass merchant channel.

"There is a wide variety of price points in Viiv technology, there are some people who will pay $7500 for a fully installed product, while other's want to pay $500 and walk out of the store with a box," Cronin said. "There's going to be enough growth in the market for both the mass merchant market and the independent retailers."

Intel's national marketing manager, Kate Burleigh, said independent retailers would have access to marketing collateral, coopted funds and even support to create instore displays of Viiv technology.

"We are going to create a permanent display of the Viiv technology at the Intel offices, and where there's a request and a genuine commitment to the platform, we'll look at investing in displays for smaller and independent retailers as well," Burleigh said.

While major international brands Dell, HP, NEC, Mitac and IBM, will all work with the Viiv platform, local manufacturers such as Pioneer, Altech, Ipex, Optima, Acer and Claritas will also have offerings on the Australian market.

"Intel wants to market Viiv through the mass market because it's a mass market product," Claritas managing director, Andy Welch, said. "We are happy to see the big boys compete on price, because really we're focussing on the end of the market where there's a premium for quality."

Altech managing director, Anthony Sheen, is keen to have access to the mass merchant channel, but claims independent retailers will be equally important to the success of the convergent home entertainment space overall.

"We are looking to offer a range of different specs through each channel," Sheen said. "Intel is putting a lot into promoting this direction and that is going to be good for everybody involved."