Chipmaker, Revelations recently pacted for online distribbing

As Intel prepares to host the Producers Guild Awards for the third straight year, the recently rebranded chipmaker is trying to make 2006 the year Hollywood and Silicon Valley converge in living rooms around the world.

“The reason we picked the producers is we see them as the businesspeople behind the creation of many of these wonderful entertainment projects that are released each year onto our televisions and movie screens,” says Kevin Corbett, vice president and chief technology officer of Intel’s Digital Home Group.

Intel and Revelations Entertainment, a production company founded by actor Morgan Freeman and producer Lori McCreary, recently announced the formation of an online distribution company for firstrun films, ClickStar. The company’s first release later this year will be “Ten Items or Less,” directed by Brad Silberling, starring Freeman and Paz Vega with production credits to McCreary, Silberling and Freeman.

The movie will be available directly via the Internet to the new Viiv digital home platforms within weeks of being released in theaters. The Viiv-based PC, designed to be an all-in-one home entertainment center, was showcased recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of this year.

“You are now able to distribute content digitally right from where the content is produced directly to consumers all over the world,” says Corbett. “This is going to change the methods and windows of distribution and change everything about the current model that we knew in the entertainment industry of three years ago.”

The strategic alliance with the Producers Guild has provided an opportunity for a business discussion with other producers about the rapid changes in technology and different methods for helping producers, directors and artists distribute content directly to the consumer.

Two potential obstacles to online distribution are piracy and concern from theater exhibitors over the simultaneous release frame. However, Corbett is confident that with the relationships forged in the entertainment industry through the Producers Guild and others that piracy will be addressed and traditional distribution won’t be a problem.

“I think it’s been a tremendous match between a technology company like Intel that can be trusted to help guide people through these new ecosystems and the insight and leadership of the PGA,” says Corbett. “This alliance has really brought the two of us together in a strong way.”

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