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Intel to launch Insider movie service with 1080p content, WiDi 2.0 will let you stream it to your TV

Joanna Stern
01.03.11
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We knew it was Intel's plan to launch its Sandy Bridge or Core 2011 processors at CES, but leave it to Chipzilla to throw in some total surprises ahead of the show. Yes, you read the headline right -- Intel's planning to launch its very own movie and video service in the first quarter of 2011. Unlike iTunes or really anything else out there, Intel's Insider will allow those with Core 2011-powered laptops or desktops to purchase or rent the latest movies in full HD -- yes, good ol' 1080p. But, why exactly is Intel teaming up with studios, content owners, and video distributors when so many others out there are trying to do the same thing? In essence, the company sits in a good place to combat a lot of the issues movie studios have had with HD video distribution -- Insider is tied to the new 2nd generation Core processors, and thus provides hardware protection, rather than software protection of the content. According to Intel's Erik Reid, the company has already struck deals with CinemaNow and Warner Brothers, and the plan is for all content to be made available at the same time as the DVD or Blu-ray release. It is unclear whether there will be an Insider portal for all this content or if other services will just be certified to work on the hardware platform, but we will be finding out much more once the show starts.

Naturally, Intel doesn't only want you to watch those brand spankin' new 1080p movies on your laptop screen -- it is pushing WiDi in a big way, and the second generation, which will be baked into new Core 2011 systems, will support 1080p streaming and will eventually enable streaming of protected content, including DVDs and Blu-ray discs. WiDi 2.0, as they are calling it, will work a lot like the original version we like so much and allows you to extend your desktop to an HD monitor, but unfortunately, it will require a new HDTV receiver to enable the full HD capability and it still has that two second lag. No word yet on who is making those boxes or how much they'll cost, but we're hoping to learn a few more details about Intel's big push to tie video content to its new processors at its CES press conference in just a few days.

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