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AMD Live! coming to a home entertainment centre near you

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This week, AMD announced its next milestone in digital entertainment with the AMD Live! PC, a media-centre PC designed to enable consumers to organise, distribute, share, and enjoy its content. OEMs participating in the programme include Acer, Alienware, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, HP, Sahara, and Tsinghua Tongfang.

The AMD Live PCs will have Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors and the AMD Live Entertainment Suite, a collection of services and applications to enhance the PC experience.

With the new PC, customers should be able to stream music through their entertainment centre; view and share photos on the TV; burn recorded TV shows, videos, music, and pictures to a DVD or CD; or transfer the content to a notebook, MP3, portable media player (PMP), or personal digital assistant (PDA).

This will be possible as customers will be able to consolidate content in a central location and then easily access it through various devices. AMD has also announced an agreement with STMicroelectronics to develop high-definition networked set-top box solutions to connect to a desktop or notebook PC.

The software in the Entertainment Suite will include On Demand powered by Orb Networks that streams live or pre-recorded television programmes, photos, music, and movies; Compress, a tool that optimises recorded television content to save space; and Network Magic, to set up, manage, and secure the home network. There is also LogMeIn, a service that lets users remotely control their Live PC to obtain access to files remotely, and Media Vault, a service that can automatically back up digital content collections to a secure online server. AMD plans to offer users 25GB of free storage to store photos, home movies, and music collections.

One of the hottest spots in the consumer electronics market currently and in the projected future is the home entertainment centre. Most consumers currently have a collection of various products that may or may not function together, but it would be nice to have greater integration.

Last August, Intel introduced a Viiv line of computers that would incorporate quick on-and-off similar to other entertainment devices, 5.1 surround sound with optional 7.1 surround sound support, and automatic transcoding of media files. Viiv technology will be a platform using Intel's dual-core technology within the PC in addition to High Definition Audio, the Intel PRO Client LAN, and Intel Matrix Storage technology.

The bigger idea is that two Viiv-certified products will work together, unlike most products today, which require a lot of work to achieve interoperability. Viiv technology will be integrated in set-top boxes designed to match stereos and DVD players.

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