4:20pm You probably already know about AOL & Intel's video service announcement, but what about the hardware? Paul Otellini will be onstage in a few to do show & tell. Meanwhile we're just glad the music isn't as loud as usual while we wait. Jason C is on camera with his new Canon 20D.
4:28 They kept the chimes.
4:33 Please welcome .... CES president Gary Shapiro! "As you walk the floor you will notice two themes at CES: Connectivity and mobility."
4:34 Paul Otellini takes the stage.
4:35 He shows a pseudo-documentary video of a small town called Normal. Like most presos at CES, the NPR soundtrack is suddenly overrun by "Let's Get it Started in Here" as all of Normal (now renamed "The New Normal") busts out in connectivity and mobility.
4:40 he talks fast so this is straight transcript ...
"This is the first portable computer ... if it had stayed at 28 pounds it would never have become normal. We expect things to become normal. We expect a Wi-Fi connection in that coffee shop.
"First it has to take advantage of Moore's Law .. Second it needs to be built on a set of standards. Third there needs to be an ecosystem ... to bring it to market.
"The picture on the screen is the first PC. Green screen, no connectivity. We added CD-ROM, speakers. We added connectivity by a modem. We changed the form factor ... integrated Wi-Fi ... we have the latest instantiation of the breed, the multimedia laptop with integrated HD DVD drive.
"Three years ago we created a new normal in computing with the introduction of Centrino. It was the first manifestation of a platform approach for Intel, not just a chip.
"It enabled designs that could be made smaller, lighter, more portable. We worked with manufacturers, telecommunications providers ... to move Wi-Fi from the fringe into the mainstream (map of WiFi hotspots in Las Vegas pre and post Centrino)
"So what's next? We're going to see the rise of the digital multitasker. We are all multitasking creatures. The younger you are the more that's true. We want smaller devices, cooler devices, quieter devices. That requires lower power.
"We at Intel are having a massive shift from focusing on processor speed ... to multi core.
"We're introducing Centrino Duo ... 68 % faster, 28% lower power, better Wi-Fi."
DEMO: Sean Maloney, head of Intel's mobility group, does a corny but fun demo of throwing all kinds of consumer electronics into a magic hat and pulling out ... a Centrino Duo notebook!
Sean shows lots of high-res video while talking stats and roadmaps.
Sean shows some new laptops including a hot yellow Lamborghini-branded model that claims 5 hours battery life.
4:55 Paul again: "A new microprocessor .. we call it Core Duo." Video promo for Core Duo to tune of "Revolution."
"Core Duo is our first new brand since Pentium. It's about three times smaller than Pentium, about the size of a dime .. it is the world's lowest power dual-core processor. We'll ship the millionth Core Duo in three weeks."
5:00 Michael Dell comes out to show new Dell laptop with Core Duo and 17 inch screen.
Otellini: "Are you having a two-for-one special?"
Dell: "Are YOU having a two-for-one special?" (laughter - it sounded off-script)
Dell jokes that he doesn't trust Paul with the laptop, "so I'll just take this and be on my way." The laptop folds up with built-in heavy duty carrying handles.
5:05 stats about broadband adoption, standards ... a good time for us to post photos.
Paul echoes last night's Microsoft theme of moving from the two-foot interface (PC) to the ten-foot interface (TV).
"What consumers tell us they want is online content on that big screen in their living room ... from the couch, from the bed. We need to intergrate the TV capabilities, the PC capabilities, and the Internet experience.
"What is Viiv? A combination of hardware and softwawre that delivers a new media experience."
Tese are are
1) CE Simple - consumer electronics not IT
2) Dual Core - smaller, cooler, quieter for living room.
3) Premium Content
TALKING POINTS ALERT: "Ultimately Viiv is about ... putting the consumer in control." Verbatim from Gates' keynote last night.
Video promo for Viiv in which the voiceover actually says, "putting you in control."
5:07 Don MacDonald from Intel's digital home group comes out to talk about Viiv.
"Viiv had to be easy to use, it had to have a performance capability to thrill users, and it had to ..." something about being integrated.
Don shows demo of home setup. "The LCD actually takes longer to power down and power up than the Viiv PC." He refers to "the demanding environment of the living room."
"Unfortunately standards are necessary, but not sufficient. We need to build on top of standards." He's looking through ESPN options for March Madness games.
(This is a long demo of video menus and content.)
5:15 Don shows off various form factors from differnet makers. Many wouldn't be recognized as PCs but as living room consumer electronics.
5:15 Don: "All of these systems are available either today, or in the next few weeks. Prices start at below 900 dollars."
More multimedia interaction demos. "High definition content streaming directly from Viiv to this plasma screen in another room. Regardless of where your content is stored ... you'll simply use the remote to identify , acquire, and play it." Demo shows three simultaneous streams.
"We have a device called a digital media adapter so you can hook this up to an existing television."
"If it is protected content, it will move throughout your home but it's still very much protected."
Viiv will also be upgradeable via download.
5:20 Paul alone onstage. "I believe we're at the threshold of a ... Digital Entertainment Era."
We've been here long enough to know: Here come the celebrities.
"I'm here to introduce Chase Carey..." from DirectTV. We were expecting Snoop. But Chase seems cool.
You can auto-complete this part of the show. Chase: "... letting consumers access it when, where and how they want."
5:25 More promo video, this time of major media carriers around the world (e.g. Tarabu) talking about how great this is for them.
Slide of BusinessWeek headline, "The End of TV (As You Know It)" (DIsclaimer/self-promo: One of us also writes for BusinessWeek)
Yet another promo video, this one for ... um, AOL. (Disclaimer again: AOL owns Engadget. As people here remind us every ten minutes.)
5:30 AOL chair Jonathan Miller comes onstage. He refers to video segments as "assets." There are several hundred thousand "assets" in the service. Big-screen demo of surfing the assets and choosing a Welcome Back Kotter rerun (which isn't HD, we note.)
Now we're getting a Babylon 5 clip in ... well, not HD. But they have 14,000 TV series.
Jonathan: "I hesitate to use this word, a convergence of great content, great plaftorm, great technology, the UI, and a business model ..."
Another video that talks up how NBC will deliver the Olympics via Viiv.
5:38 Paul: "The one thing we haven't talked about yet is content. Two years ago we stood up where with Morgan Freeman and announced we would deliver ... movies .. to your home ... over the Internet."
ClickStar promo video. "When, where, and how you want."
5:40 Morgan Freeman and Lauren McCready come onstage to promise movies "within a few weeks of their release to theaters," Morgan says.
Now walking onstage: Tom Hanks, Danny DeVito, Tom Shadyac, Brad Silberling. Hanks jokes about his earlier appearance for Sony: "I've been hanging around backstage for three hours." Lots of apple-polishing speeches. Hanks cuts the BS and just says it's really great. DeVito gets a phone call onstage, promises Rhea Perlman that although he's in Vegas their are no girls there.
Hanks: "There are lot of creative entities that might only exist on ClickStar. The opportunity is for the creative people - writers, directors, even the actors - to control their own work from start to finish."
Lonnnnnggggg idle banter about ClickStar's first simultaneous release, "10 Items or Less," produced by Silberling and starring Freeman.
5:48 Paul finally alone again onstage. "Today on Viiv at its launch, there are 2 million songs, 100,000 music videos, 10,000 TV shows ... Welcome to The New Normal."
"This year, 100 million people will discover digital technology for the first time. 150 million people will discover wireless ... that's The New Normal. The stage is set, let's go have some fun. Thank you very much."
5:50 House PA cranks up Let's Get it Started again, to the amusement of Apple fans (Steve used it last year.)
[UPDATE 6:16PM -- Peter is interviewing Morgan Freeman and Lauren McCready for the next podcast.]