The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Smart house for 'idiot' Freeman

Los Angeles. Jan. 19 (Reuters): Computer chipmaker Intel Corp. has opened a Hollywood digital house to show film industry players new ways of watching movies and television at home, tapping actor Morgan Freeman to help show off its technology.

The house, built at the Santa Monica, California office of Morgan's Revelations Entertainment production company, is wired with a personal computer that can download movies, TV shows and songs from the Internet and send them to TV sets or other media players in different rooms.

Freeman, the 67-year-old co-star of Million Dollar Baby, said he was a 'technological idiot,' but that he was smart enough to know that digital delivery was a wave of the future and he must learn how the technology worked.

'I don't think it takes that much of a genius to understand technology is changing our world and moving ahead very quickly,' he said.

Producer Lori McCreary said opening the showcase is a way for their company to ensure that they were ahead in the innovation game.

Freeman and McCreary are Revelations' founding partners.

'This is the start of a conversation as to how technology affects entertainment and what technology is going to do to the industry,' said Louis Burns, general manager for Intel's desktop platforms group.

One goal is to help make Hollywood producers comfortable with the content protection devices and software used in the PC and media players set up at home, he said.

Makers of films and television shows, led by the Motion Picture Association of America, have been waging a war against copyright piracy which they claim costs the industry as much as $3.5 billion a year in terms of copying things like videos and DVDs and selling those illegal copies on the street.

They are worried about the use of the Internet to transfer digital files of films and shows, which they claim has already cost them unknown billions of dollars in lost revenue.

For years, various computer makers and technology companies have been showcasing digitally wired homes at trade shows.

It will operate for about a year in Hollywood's backyard, so industry professionals need not travel to a trade show to have their questions about the digital future answered.

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