The company said that owners of PCs with Sandy Bridge processors can now buy or rent movies from CinemaNow in 1080p resolution via its "Intel Insider" program. Previously, CinemaNow only offered standard definition movies, Intel said. Intel also offers movies from the Warner Bros., however, that content is not limited to Intel-based PCs only.
Intel has some history using movie content as a promotional tool for its chips. Some readers may remember Viiv, a brand and software that Intel used back in 2006 to market certain Intel PCs as home entertainment systems. Back then, Intel invested into a Clickstar, a venture co-founded with Academy award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. Clickstar was supposed to produce movies that were solely distributed over the Internet and made available on Intel Viiv PCs. Clickstar became the first company to actually offer a movie for download, 10 Items or less, in 2006, but was eventually shut down in 2008.
Intel has become much more careful since then and the investment into the exclusive partnership with CinemaNow (trademark owned by BestBuy) is probably not quite as expensive as ClickStar.