Consumer experience will drive the adoption of home media technology, not a particular piece of equipment, an executive of Intel's Digital Home Group.
"Is the PC going to take over the TV, or vice-versa? That isn't the right question," said Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Home Group, in a morning keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing.
"How can we deliver a desired unified experience to consumers?" is the correct question, Kim said in an afternoon interview.
The concept of the digital home or digital living room generally means the internet user experience - such as interactivity with both content and other users - combined with the large screen and stereo sound of a home media centre. It may also include content purchased digitally being transmitted wirelessly to televisions or stereo systems elsewhere in the house.
Kim sees the PC and its associated functionality and the television as two ‘islands’, and the digital home concept as a bridge between them.
"Right now television is a better device," he said. However, that will not be true in the future. "The PC is the only device that gives you unlimited compatibility" to interact with other common home entertainment devices.
Kim said that Intel sees the internet as "the disruptive element in consumers' lives”, and for that reason it is making "a big bet" on "an architectural backbone" for entertainment technology in the home, although he declined to state how big the bet actually is.
Intel is currently using an XScale 1GHz SOC (system-on-chip) for its Digital Home offerings, but plans to move to a 45-nm chip - part of the chip family code-named Penryn - with Intel Architecture (IA) SOC by mid-2008, Kim said.
Manufacturers shouldn't search for an all-in-one solution for home media centres, Kim said. "Consumers don't want one box; they want an optimum experience." He cited how comfortably his teenage children watch TV while working from their laptops.