New Intel chip offers Hollywood incentive: Built-in 1080p content protection

Intel Corp.'s new "Sandy Bridge" chip, which is set to be unveiled at CES this week, is reported to be fast, energy efficient and secure. And Intel is pushing it hard in Hollywood where, the chipmaker says, it can be used to stream HD entertainment content to PCs using built-in content protection to keep it safe from piracy.

Intel's new chip contains a feature, Intel Insider, that already is wowing studios, and at least one studio, Time Inc.'s Warner Bros., has already reached a deal that would enable it to offer HD movies to consumers at the same time as they are released on DVD, the company told Reuters.

"The new Intel technology is a fundamental change for us," Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution told the Wall Street Journal. "It creates a fundamentally more secure platform in the PC environment."

He said the company would offer 1080p streams at the same time it offers standard definition content.

"We have been able to develop an end-to-end solution that will allow the premium content to be streamed to (computers with Sandy Bridge chips)," said Mooly Eden, Intel's vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group. Eden said other deals are in the works and said 1080p content could be available in Q1.

The chip, said Intel, combines graphic processing with central processing for the first time, meaning manufacturers won't need to install basic graphic processing chips.

The chip, part of Intel's new Core line, also helps WiDi, which currently supports wireless streaming up to 720p, to be pushed to 1080p with content protection. Prices for the chips range from $117 to $1,096, Intel said.

For more:
- see this Reuters report
- see this WSJ report

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