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AMD launches four Live! items

CES 007 Three negatives and a neutral
Mon Jan 08 2007, 16:46
DAMMIT LIVED up to it's name today with a bunch of media related launches, some interesting, some so DRM infected as to be useless. Of the four, there are some high points though.

First lets got to mobile where they expand the Live! brand to notebooks with the stunningly named AMD Live! notebook PC. It does what it says, it is a sticker on a box that probably carries a marketing incentive. See Viiv for more details there.(1)

Next up is the Home Media Server, basically a NAS box running Windows home media server. This one is really neat tech, it is an appliance that lets you store your files, stream them around the house, and theoretically do all those things you want to do with your media. The problem is that it is so DRM infected as to be worthless.

No, it is worse than worthless, the problem is that when you pull your media into things like this, it is next to impossible to do anything with them any more. If you have the DRM'd media center extenders, hey great, it may work, but that is your problem. The example they held up was an HP home media server, what a negative value that box brings.

The next bit is the AMD home cinema, basically a media center PC prototype that is an all in one media center system. Rather than getting all the parts in different boxes and hoping that it works, the home cinema rolls a lot of it into a single box and theoretically simplifies installation.

Since it is media center saddled, it has the full compliment of DRM technologies waiting to remove your rights. Luckily, I don't think AMD adds to this happy mix, so you can't fault them too much. It is a reference box PC with an OCER card, other than the DRM, nothing you can't do on your own.

Last up is an ATI announcement, but they don't technically exist, so it is an AMD product now. It is the ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, available January 30. This one is so bad as to hurt humanity as a whole, but not out of line with other things in it's class.

Basically it is a tuner that the cable companies approved of. It only works with Vista, hence the 1/30 launch date, because you can't use it without having DRM baked into your infrastructure. You will lose many rights if you are dumb enough to buy this one folks.

It allows you to put your PC into the evil that is the cablecard infrastructure, basically you spend money to screw yourself. What a great combo, buy two, the kids of the Warner execs need a new Porsche after sitting through a stern talking to over downloading music, fund them now.

The announcements from today sadden me. Like Intel, AMD does not have the guts to stand up to this mess, and we all pay the price. Intel was spineless, AMD is spineless and late to the game. Four products, one a label, three are negative values and dangerous. Great. µ

(1) If the Intel management technology is vPro, and the notebook technology is Pro, does that make the notebook version of Viiv Iiv?


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