You'll recall that Intel got a lot of ink back at CES when it revealed the specs for Viiv, the much-hyped entertainment PC platform. Less noticed was AMD's announcement of the similar-sounding Live, which also promised an enhanced entertainment experience from systems with the right hardware/software combinations. Finally, after almost six months of silence (and some general snickering about the name) there's some concrete news about AMD Live (we're opting out of AMD's exclamation point).
The Live brand has been in use in some professional audio and video systems since 2004, but the consumer version is focused on enabling users to, "Distribute, share, and enjoy their content collection throughout the home and on the go," according to AMD's press release. On a more practical note, the company says, "Leading OEMs including Acer, Alienware, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, HP, Sahara, and Tsinghua Tongfang, as well as system builders in North America, Western Europe, and China, will have AMD Live PCs, powered by the award-winning AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, starting in June."
As for system requirements, the minimum CPU is an AMD X2 4200+, and you'll need Window Media Center, at least 1GB of RAM, and an SATA hard drive. Like Intel's Viiv, a TV tuner is recommended but not required.
AMD is offering a suite of cobranded versions of third-party software utilities to Live users, including AMD Live On Demand, powered by Orb, for accessing content from remote PCs, and AMD Live Compress for squeezing down video files to save hard drive space. You can actually get limited versions of some of these programs to try out right now by going to AMDLive.com.