Intel reveals silver bullet to save Hollywood

6 Jan 2011

LAS VEGAS – Intel says its new Sandy Bridge next-generation processor has delivered the security Hollywood has craved and could mean cinema content could be delivered to the home as soon as it is released at the box office.

Hollywood has been anxious not to make the same mistakes as the music industry and has been slow to drive content on demand.

At its official Consumer Electronics Show (CES) press briefing, Intel CEO Paul Otellini explained that the 2nd Generation Intel Core Processor technology code named ‘Sandy Bridge’ is now available to manufacturers and includes built-in ‘Intel Insider’ technology that enables entertainment firms to send quality content directly to a user’s PC  – and get paid for it – without any fears of piracy.

“It’s about the visual experience,” Otellini beamed as he outlined how Intel Insider provides the deep integration of security and content that will allow the movie industry to deliver premium HD content in 1,080p format directly via the internet to PCs and then onto the TV using Wi-Di (wireless display).

Intel is working with Cinema Now, Dixons Retail plc, Bollywood giant Hungama, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Brothers Digital Distribution to deliver home content on demand to the living room via the next generation of personal computers.

“The new Second Generation Intel Core processors represent the biggest advance in computing performance and capabilities over any other previous generation,” said Mooly Eden, vice-president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group.

Stunning visual capabiltities

“The built-in visual capabilities enabled by these new processors are stunning. This, combined with improved adaptive performance, will revolutionise the PC experience in a way that is obvious for every user to see and appreciate – visibly smarter performance,” Eden said.

Eden said 1m PCs are being shipped by the industry every day and consumers no longer view PCs as luxuries but necessities. “While the overall market is growing, the major driver is the consumer. The consumer percentage of the total PC pie growing from 29pc in 2000 to 66pc today, that’s phenomenal growth.

He said that the speeds enabled by the new generation of Intel processors are staggering. “It is 831pc faster for Excel calculations and 333pc faster for PowerPoint slideshows.”

Eden said that out of the 2 billion people on the internet, some 247 billion emails are being sent daily, out of which eight out of 10 are spam. “So there are only 50bn emails out of this that people actually read.”

He also pointed out that 2.5bn photos are uploaded on Facebook every month while YouTube is recording 2bn videos uploaded a day.

“It is about user experience, but you need performance underneath it, performance to deliver great user experience, without being a geek or hacker, but performance to delivery experience. People like to create, they like to be innovative, the only problem is it has been very complicated. To create – it’s in our blood.

“Sandy Bridge is revolutionary – it is the biggest step change in Intel since I joined and I believe it will be a cornerstone of computer revolution. It integrates CPU, media and graphics onto one chip.

Eden said that a single ‘Sandy Bridge’ processor has 1.16bn transistors and is 69pc faster than the previous generation.

Console-quality gaming on PCs

He said that in the very near future, PCs will be delivering users console-like quality in terms of video gaming and demonstrated clever physical hand controllers that act as an extension of the human body.

“Four years ago, Paul (Otellini) predicted that processors would be 10 times faster by the end of 2010. Well, we have made them 25 times faster.”

Eden demonstrated real-time avatar technology that mimics human expression and predicted that in the not-so-distant future these avatars will feature in social networking. “Very soon you will not know if you are in the real world or the virtual world; this technology is becoming so realistic.”

Returning to the subject of Hollywood, Eden said major firms have not been averse to the idea of delivering new box office material directly to the home TV, they just needed to overcome piracy concerns and Sandy Bridge has done that.

“Consumers would like to watch new titles as soon as they are released. The studios are interested, too, but until now they didn’t feel the link was secure enough to stream information.

“We worked with studios to deliver an end-to-end secure solution to provide secure a link between studios all the way to the PC and once they saw it they have actively considered letting consumers enjoy content closer to release.

“We are working with Warner, Fox, Hungama, and many more are coming on board to enable great content to be consumed early to release,” Eden said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years