Intel Corp reckons it has confounded industry predictions about when mainstream personal computers would run DVD Digital Video Disk movies and interactive video, by bringing it forward to before the end of this year, from the anticipated end of 98/beginning of 99. The chip giant says it has worked with both the technology and the movie industry to enable MPEG2 movie decoding and descrambling to be performed in software on the main processor, without the need for a special hardware board. All movies are scrambled using the CSS Content Scramble System to protect them from illegal copying. To date, the Motion Picture Association of America has allowed only hardware descrambling, believing this to be more secure. Intel says it has reached an agreement with the Motion Picture Association which allows licenses to be issued to software vendors, enabling them to write the descrambling in software. Chris Lane, Intel’s DVD program manager says this CSS license agreement is a milestone for the IT industry. Intel has also worked with OEM’s to share its MPEG2 decoding expertise, to enable this also to be done in software. So what’s in it for Intel? Basically, the DVD software will run on Intel’s new Pentium II processors with MMX. Manufacturers will be able to include interactive DVD and movie playback without the additional cost of a DVD hardware add-on, so Intel predicts that this will be a compelling enough reason for consumers to rush out before Christmas and buy brand shiny new high-end Pentium II- based personal computers, causing what is apparently known in the trade as a ‘sell-up’ for the Pentium II.