Call Louis Burns Intel Corp.’s DH to the second power—that’s designated hitter for the digital home. Although Burns’ official role with the chip-making giant is VP/GM of desktop platforms activity, his primary assignment is to push the frontiers of digital technology for consumers. As part of this mission, Burns and the Digital Home Working Group—a consortium of 17 tech vendors including Microsoft, Sony, IBM and Samsung—have been hammering out guidelines for the deployment of digital-home-compliant products. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Burns offered CableWORLD his perspective on the cable industry. CW: What is cable’s role in the development of the digital home? Louis Burns: Cable is a major pipe for entertainment, data and telephony. Content will enter the home in multiple ways, like broadband and cable. Cable is very important in this environment, because it has high bandwidth and high capacity. CW: How does your company define the digital home? Burns: The vision is very simple—100% focused from the consumer’s chair. The consumer wants the ability to have any content—personal or purchased—available at any time anywhere on any communications device. What we have to work on now is ease of use and interoperability of devices within the home. CW: What plans does Intel have for engaging cable in its digital home strategy? Burns: We are very active in cable, just not on a public basis right now. There’s lots of discussions and work under way in private, which is appropriate. Don’t read into the lack of presence at trade shows. We view cable as a very important pipe into the home. CW: Your venture capital unit, Intel Capital, is making digital home investments. What kind? Burns: We announced the formation of a $200 million fund earlier this year. It’s focused on enabling the ability we’re looking for. We’re investing in software, services and content around the world. CW: Isn’t content what will drive the digital home? Burns: It’s important that we enable the infrastructure, hardware and middleware that enable delivery of the content. That’s where you’ve seen the early investments from us, toward interoperability. We’re not talking about content yet, but we understand that at the end, this is about content. We’re trying to enable an infrastructure that is easy to use and easy for people to get their content. CW: Has does cable compare to DBS when it comes to developing the digital home? Burns: I wouldn’t prioritize or put one medium above the other. Consumers should get their content on the best available pipe, no matter where they live. It’s not about which one is more important. It’s about insuring the pipe is available for everyone. We’re trying to make the consumer the winner in this. CW: What’s the best thing about cable TV? Burns: Access and, with PVRs, access to programming anytime you want. CW: The worst thing? Burns: Not having access to it. 30 Seconds With Louis Burns Proudest Accomplishment: My three children. Inspirations: My parents, brothers and so many people in my job. When Not Working, I’m…: With my kids. TV Shows I Never Miss: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Pimp My Ride. Favorite Place Away From Home: Carmel, Calif. Life Philosophy: Family first.

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