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While I was attending IDF in August 2005 Intel announced its Viiv platform. Don MacDonald – Vice President & General Manager, Digital Home Group – was on hand to evangelise about the digital home and how the new Viiv platform would take things to the next level. Unfortunately we had to wait a little while for the official launch of Viiv, but better a hard launch than a paper one.
It wasn’t until early January that Intel officially launched Viiv at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show – of course TrustedReviews was on hand for the launch, which was covered here. Intel rolled out the big guns to help push the Viiv platform, with Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman and Danny DeVito all on stage to add weight to the proceedings.
Then, finally, on the 25th January, Intel officially launched Viiv in the UK. This time Intel took over a swanky restaurant/bar in London’s Soho and stumped up the cash for Jonathan Ross to host the evening. More celebrities talked up Viiv, the most impressive of which was Michael Owen – but then it’s not like he’s been busy, what with that broken metatarsal.
At the UK launch Intel had lots of partners and system integrators showing off their Viiv systems, but one really caught my eye – the µDMS P60 from Hi-Grade. While at IDF last year Don MacDonald showed off a Viiv concept machine called the Golden Gate and this Hi-Grade box looked every bit as small, sleek and stylish as that – pretty much exactly what I wanted a Viiv machine to look like. A quick chat with one of Hi-Grade’s owners secured me an exclusive early look at this Viiv PC – thanks Ori.
One of the pre-requisites of Viiv certification is the use of a dual-core CPU. This somewhat explains why Viiv was launched so long after it was announced – Intel was waiting for the Yonah, or Core Duo as it’s now called, chip to arrive. The beauty of the Core Duo chip is that it has all the advantages of a mobile CPU – cool, quiet, low power – while still having enough grunt to run pretty much anything you’re likely to throw at it. The general attributes of the Core Duo allow system integrators like Hi-Grade to produce PCs that are as unobtrusive as they are powerful.
As you can see from the screen grab, the Hi-Grade is ticking along nicely with two CPU cores.