In the latest example of the convergence of PCs and television, MTV Networks and Intel today announced the launch of "The Live Link," which will allow viewers of MTV's Live Show to interact with each other and the show's guests.
Using Intel's technology, viewers will be able to interact with MTV on-air talent and guests in a variety of ways, including videoconferencing with Intel's ProShare multimedia technology, 3D avatar chat, traditional text chat, email that appears on the air in real time, Net multiplayer gaming, and video postcards created with Intel's Create and Share Camera Pack. Additionally, "The Live Link" page on MTV's Web site will allow users to tour the MTV Live studio using Ipix immersive imaging technology.
The deal marks a further effort on the part of technology and Net companies such as Intel to reach young PC users, who tend to be more technology-savvy and who represent the companies' future customer base. A recent study by research firm Find SVP found that about 14 percent of children and teenagers in the United States log on to the Internet, and that number promises to rise significantly with government efforts to wire classrooms. Furthermore, the average annual income in households where children are online is $52,400, making wired children and teens a potentially lucrative market for Intel and other technology companies.
"Enabling and delivering compelling PC experiences to the youth market is critical to Intel," said Ann Lewnes, Intel's director of worldwide advertising, in a statement. "Our sponsorship of MTV's 'Live Link' enables us to demonstrate what our technology can do for this important audience."
"It's all about growing the market for personal computers," said Adam Grossberg, an Intel spokesman.
The programming also follows a trend among entertainment and Internet companies to meld together television with the Net and online technology. Yesterday, Concentric Network and Bloomberg struck a deal to broadcast Bloomberg's TV content via the Net. NBC and Yahoo teamed up over the summer to offer chat between Netizens and stars from the network's prime-time, late-night, and daytime lineups.
Unlike another MTV PC/TV project, "Yack Live," all the new features available on "The Live Link" involve widespread use of Intel products. "Yack Live" requires only the use of Internet Relay Chat technology, which is available as shareware. The Intel technology is more expensive; for example, the Create and Share Camera Pack necessary for videoconferencing runs between $199 and $399--the latter includes a 56-kbps modem and a video capture card.
Intel also has set up kiosks in the Mall of America in Minnesota and at the University of Arizona, among other spots, where fans will be able to communicate with the show's guests.
"MTV Online has been working hand in hand with the MTV producers to build a forum in which our users can interact with and help steer the course of the show," said Matt Farber, senior vice president of programming enterprises for MTV, in a statement. "'The Live Link' takes our on-air interactive programming one step further and allows us to communicate to a wider MTV audience around the world, and bring them closer to the artists they love.
"Our work with Intel allows us to link our audience to our studio, create exciting television programming, and get a first look at state-of-the-art hardware and exciting new software," he added.
Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.