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Intel gets inspired by Apple in more ways than one!

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 6th 2005

Intel in movies? Mercury News reports: Intel is getting into the movie business, and fighting illegal downloading at the same time. The Santa Clara chip giant said today that it’s investing in a venture set up by actor Morgan Freeman that will encourage legal distribution of independent films over the Web. Intel didn’t say how much it was investing. The venture, ClickStar, will aim to release the indie films on the Internet at the same time they’re shown in theaters. “Our goal is to deliver first-run premium entertainment to film fans around the world and to make film easier to buy than to pirate,” Freeman said in a statement. Not to mention all the microprocessors Intel will sell when all those indie movie fans upgrade their computers.

MovieLink, CinemaNow, and now ClickStar are all movie download sites. The Movielink service is owned and operated by Movielink, LLC, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios. Movielink draws its content offerings from the vast libraries of those studios as well as Walt Disney Pictures, Miramax, Artisan and others on a non-exclusive basis.

MovieLink has apparently not got much traction for two reasons:

(1) It takes way too long to download a film
(2) Once you download on your PC, there is no wireless PC-to-TV connection to watch it on the TV easily

Wonder what is going on in Intel’s head, to fix these two adoption road-blocks on the Video-on-Demand roadmap and what Morgan Freeman knows, that the major studios don’t!

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Anytime I see a technology venture headed by a major Hollywood superstar, I run for the hills. Having a celebrity front-man screams “dot-com” all over again and indicates that the company isn’t willing to rely on the technology to win in the marketplace.

TechTrader Monday, July 18, 2005 at 10:08 AM PT