AOL to bring movies, TV downloads to Viiv PCs

Deal to let owners of PCs running the Intel-designed entertainment platform download studio-produced videos.

AOL is expected to announce a deal next week with Intel that will let consumers download Gabe Kaplan's finest work to their PCs and watch it on TV.

Under the deal, AOL will let owners of Viiv PCs, which run an entertainment platform designed and promoted by Intel, download episodes of "Welcome Back, Kotter" to the computers, according to sources close to the companies. They will also be able to download studio movies and music. Consumers could then watch or listen to the downloads through connected TVs and stereo equipment.

The move marks the latest handshake between content producers and the PC industry. A few years ago, studios adamantly opposed consumers downloading movies onto PCs, except under strict circumstances. The studios then but restricted viewing to PCs or notebooks. Under the AOL-Intel deal, any compatible screen works.

The deal also marks another step forward for Viiv, which Intel launched earlier this year. Viiv PCs are, from a hardware perspective, not all that different from regular PCs. However, the chipmaker has cut deals with content providers so that certain types of entertainment or capabilities are available only on Viiv.

Earlier in the month, Intel and Yahoo struck a deal that will allow subscribers to Yahoo fantasy football to follow their fantasy games on a TV screen while watching a live football game. In other words, PC and Internet content share a single screen.

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