The Intel Developers Forum (IDF) is a great event to attend if you want see the industry’s (ok Intel’s) visions for tomorrow at the office…in your car…at home. After a few minutes of Pat Gelsinger’s keynote, we knew we were going to spend a lot of time on Wikipedia!

ATCA, DLNA, RAS, DRM, VQM, AKE, AES and new acronyms on top of old ones.

…Talk about failure of communications !!!

Without acronyms industry folks wouldn’t be able to talk with each other.

IDF — and most shows would be at least twice as long.

At this year’s event, they packed three days with techie presentations and shirtsleeve discussions on how the new low-power chips fit everywhere, anywhere.

Business, industry and governments still suck up most of the chips that Intel and others produce. You’d swear they have an application initiative going for everyone.

If you don’t find yours on the agenda…they’ll form a task force.

But the home continues to get more than its share of attention.

There are several reasons:

1. if it is easy enough for your mom and dad to use you know your boss will be able to use it
2. technology touches and drives almost every portion of our lives today
3. despite the presentations it is still a long way from slam dunk easy to connect everything

But these folks are convinced they will be the engine for your home, your life (Figure 1).

They are determined to reshape the way we view, listen to, use, think about content.

The picture they paint for the new audio/video producers makes investing in Tellywood as about as appealing as GM stock.

It’s true that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When Intel talks about content, everything starts with the computer.

They are touching all of the bases media format, media transport, media management, device discovery/control and networking/connectivity (Figure 2). The content sits on a digital media server (DMS). It’s delivered to a player.

That’s streamlining life two boxes.

Who did we forget?

Oh yeah Jack Valenti’s legacy team at RIAA, MPAA and all of the wiretap lawyers/gumshoes.

Want to play the content on your device…secure copy. On your home server…secure copy. On your portable device…secure copy. Make a backup…secure copy (Figure 3).

Doesn’t really matter that 30+% of the content is yours or friends/family photos, video.

Doesn’t really matter that 30% of the content comes from indies who offer the content free or ask for a few bucks for your disc or download.

To Tellywood all content is equal. They want it protected from…you !!

So the industry is delivering solutions that are called digital transmission content protection (DTCP). Don’t get confused, this isn’t the same as digital rights management (DRM)…honest!!

DTCP “only” covers such great consumer benefit tools as authenticated key exchange (AKE), advanced encryption standard (AES), copy control information (CCI) and system renewability messages (SRM). Head for Wikipedia.

On the other hand DRM is only in place to protect content owners. It only controls who, what, when, where and how of content they sell and you mistakenly believe you own.

As long as the DTCP and DRM tools check out you can look at your photos and your video, listen to your music, watch their online movies, play their online games.

You can even load up your video player and take along your/their videos/music/games.

Sound like a lot of hoops to jump through?

Just remember … You gonna get used to wearin’ them chains after a while.

The vision that Intel and partners weave is really cool. When everything is in place, you will be able to enjoy your entertainment movie, music, photos, games anytime you want and on any device.

Enjoy your stuff in the living room. Stream it to systems throughout the house. Synch it with your portable device(s). Burn a copy and take it with you.

Imagine your home:

* – no new wires
* – easy installation
* – manageable solution
* – interoperable
* – seamless connectivity
* – single network for data, video, audio, home control
* – whole house coverage and access
* – remote access to home content
* – bulletproof, guaranteed quality of service content delivery

Unspoken in all of this though is that Tellywood is working to make their protection really difficult to maneuver through. They are intent on controlling how/where you use the content you buy from them.

SAG (screen actors’ guild) sees the new technology benefit too. They are already negotiating how to get more out of the iTunes and other video download payments. Wasn’t that what the unions did to GM ???

Obviously that can only lead to higher costs, more restricted movement of the content you buy.

So will you have this fantastic home and away chip-based entertainment solution you can’t afford to listen to or watch?

Tellywood overlooks (plays down) the tens of thousands of indies around the globe who don’t have a huge, expensive infrastructure or overhead.

They have one of those new sexy Panasonic digital camcorders, a new Intel-based PC with software from Ulead or Adobe and a desire to be set free. For an investment of $10K and a lot of sweat labor, they actually want you to see and hear their creative work.

It may not be Tellywood’s “premium” content but then how much premium content have you seen/heard lately?

To make things worse, Tellywood can’t figure out how to deal with the growing crop of viral video sites that are cropping up.

The combination of all of the Internet content that is being offered on the Internet, cheap “conversion” software and variety of devices that store/play content has helped us double our content every 18 months (Figure 4).

The seamless home network is coming. But the content is here…now!

So IDF had some great storage sessions.

Google has the ideal solution for the consumer…hosted virtual storage.

Yeah like after their compromise with China and records they turned over to the FBI, we’re ready to let them manage our content !!!!

The FBI is going to have to check our content the old fashioned way. Wiretaps…Internet sleuthing…bloodhounds.

We like our Faith Popcorn cocoon.

We like the home network with 1TB of hard drive storage, a 400-disc CD library and hope to find a 200-disc DVD library. Combine it with a dual-core Intel system, ADS MiniTV USB (Figure 5), wireless networking and high speed connectivity and we’re got more content than we can handle.

Anyone in the family can tap into the system to listen to or view the photos, slideshows, movies, TV events or music they want, where they want, when they want. Loading their video MP3 player (we’re talking generically here) still isn’t idiot proof. But when the kids do it for us it looks pretty easy.

Big disk systems like LaCie’s are reasonable (Figure 6). Hard to believe that little sucker holds 1TB. It wasn’t that long ago a TB filled a room and required special AC.

CD library was simple to get but we’re still looking for the DVD library because…we’re lazy and don’t want to insert a new disc every time when the remote is so handy.

Why a regular DVD library (Figure 7) rather than wait for blue technology?

* There’s not much they can do with DVD burners except lower the price or announce higher speeds that have no specs

* They have every technology you’d ever want … DVD+/-R/RW/RAM/DL and CDR/RW, even a choice of LightScribe or Labelflash labeling technology

* DVDR is great media. It is “everywhere.” It is reliable. It is inexpensive

* It simply works


If and when it arrives (after Tellywood imposes its will), it will be:

* a continuing two horse race
* expensive for at least a couple of years
* questionable when it comes to HD set compatibility
* necessary to prove the wow factor to us
* available with content protection chains we’re not ready to wear yet

According to IDC, even by 2010 it may be only be a pimple on the bar graph (Figure 8).

What about 2015?

By then it may feel natural to pay for but never own content.

Or maybe the cap’n will get the clue and quit being so good to us !!!!

That won’t happen until the Indies and new content delivery approaches personalized CD/DVD sales, web site downloads — become a way of life for us. Newman or Cool Hand Luke was free if only in his mind. IDF solutions and creative folks are giving us a lot of options to the cap’n’s chains. Maybe by the time Tellywood figures it out it will be too late.

Chain gangs are getting mighty scarce !!