We've heard about Intel's plans to release Viiv as a branded product intended for media enthusiasts, but news on it has been a bit quiet. Intel will be partnering with TiVo in this endeavor, hoping to capture not only TiVo expertise but TiVo markets, as Intel's primary target is those machines people stick under their televisions.

"Digital video recorder pioneer TiVo Inc. plans to use the technology to make it simple not only to transfer from TiVo set-top box to a Viiv PC but also allow for the transfer of shows on the PC to a TiVo. Viiv also will make it easier to move the content to a DVD or handheld player."
The choice of the name Viiv was intended to "avoid consumer confusion and questions over interoperability", which is actually a good thing. For non super-savvy users who like doing home theater with a PC, knowing that your device will work with the remote is a good thing. Intel did the same thing with Centrino - all Centrino branded laptops had to meet specific compatibility requirements. Don't count on alternative OS at first, as Viiv will be sold only with Windows Media Center edition, and will come standard with things like instant-on from standby, 5.1 Surround (with 7.1 upgrade potential) and have a variety of sizes. The boxes are expected to be available early in 2006.