Intel’s Revelations

Chipmaker homes in on safety of digital

Intel is teaming with Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment to generate showbiz interest in online entertainment.

The chipmaker, which has been investing heavily in devices that store and transfer digital video and music, built a series of rooms in Revelations’ Santa Monica digs that it hopes represent a consumer home of the future.

Two companies were to hold an open house Tuesday night, along with presentations for the next several weeks, in hopes of convincing studio executives, agents, actors and other showbiz pros to loosen their hold on content to let it be distributed digitally.

While Intel’s line of “entertainment PCs” has been shown off before, this demonstration is the first put on just for Hollywood. It is also the first to focus primarily on content protection to lure those wary of piracy.

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“This is really for my colleagues, many of whom I know are scared of the Internet or don’t understand it,” Freeman explained during a preview of the demonstration Monday. “I used to be also.”

Freeman and producing partner Lori McCreary are hosting the demo and corralling industryites on behalf of Intel. The two companies have been working together on digital entertainment initiatives for more than a year, and are partnering on a pic made specifically for digital distribution.

Among the possibilities shown off in the model digital home are the transfer of digitally recorded TV or downloaded movies between rooms and to portable devices. In addition, staff will attempt to take downloaded movies out of the home or burn them to DVD to show how Microsoft content protection can prevent piracy.

One of the main impediments to the wide adoption of such technology has been a lack of content. Studios have put tight restrictions on movies on the Web, offering only a limited selection and restrictive usage rules to video-on-demand services MovieLink and CinemaNow. Intel is hoping to convince studios and partners to free up their best content to be sold or rented online.