Intel's man in charge of the Digital Home, Eric Kim, gave a roundtable session this afternoon in which he answered questions from journalists, including your fearless correspondent. Here's a couple of choice quotes on some of the hot issues of the day.
On Digital Rights Management
"No matter how good your DRM is, it gets in the way of consumer usability and consumer preference. I believe most consumers are honest and fair and if they can get value, they're happy to pay for that. With DRM it's very hard to do, because it puts restrictions that from a consumer standpoint are not acceptable. Many times when problems happen, you lose what you bought, and you get angry and you dont get what you pay for. That's not acceptable."
On Apple's iTV
"Essentially it's a DMA (digital media adaptor). It allows you to plug your TV to your computer, whether it's Mac or PC, and get iTunes content. I'm sure Apple will do a great job. Apple is an Intel architecture based company so we know what they're doing.
"They're going to make the concept of connecting the TV to your PC a desirable concept. They are going to do wonderful in creating this marketplace. People don't know you can do this today and even if they do know, it's too complicated."
Kim went on to add:
"The thing about Apple is that they will deliver the best optimised and user friendly solution within their closed environment. iTunes content to Mac and PC to iTV, just like they have done with iPod. What we're trying to do is to go beyond that. We want to create an open foundation that will enable other major CE companies to plug in to the PC platforms and deliver a variety of content."
On video podcasting and user generated content
"In terms of UGC and videocasting, it's a powerful idea. The biggest challenge is that YouTube gets the biggest eyeballs of all sites right now. What is the business model, how do they make money? If they can't make money, they won't last very long. That is the next big challenge.
"If there is some technology that Intel can provide to help this new medium, we will do that."
It's very interesting to see Kim take such a strong stance against DRM, especially given Intel's moves to enable DTCP-IP in the living room, and supporting standards such as HDCP. It rather seems like Kim is on the usability side of the consumer/provider debate.
It's also rather amusing to see Eric bashing YouTube the same day that Paul Otellini lauded it in his keynote. Eric is a marketing man through and through, and knows the value of economics - clearly the hype doesn't wash with him.