It doesn't seem all that great that I can view my pics and play music via my HR20. There are tons of devices, some a lot cheaper, that can do this. Is this a baby step towards something much greater? I hope so. What would really make this new "network enabled" feature really shine if you could share media from one HR20 to another. But from what I read this new Viiv thing is just weak. Please someone explain to my what is so cool about this Viiv feature or whatever you want to call it. Personally I would rather the Guide button actually go to the guide on the first press than view my pics on my tv.
There are actually two seperate issues here - the Viiv spec and the media sharing capability of the HR20.
The HR20 is simply a UPnP client which currently has the ability to play/display certain audio and photo file formats. UPnP (Unerversal Plug n Play) is just that -Universal - and in and of itself doesn't require anything but UPnP server software to establish a connection and share files. There are several UPnp servesr that I know of: Windows Media Connect, WMP11, Siftware that's provided with certain media streamers (such as a Dlink), and built in UPnP servers built into services such as Rhapsody and Yahoo Music Jukebox.
So UPnP establishes the connection, but after that it's up to the device as to which file formats are supported, and if they are able to interpret rights-managed (DRM) files.
Viiv is a hardware specification (except for the OS requirement). The intent is to say, "if you want to do all this fancy media stuff, you will need a minimum system requirement - processor, chipset, video card, etc. " Rather than have to worry about all those pieces, the requirements are all rolled into the one Viiv spec.
I don't see anything in the Viiv spec that indicates hardware copy protection, unless it has to do with HDCP compliant video cards - which are there - Viiv or not.