D-Link Mainstage backYes, that's WiDi (for Intel Wireless Display), not WiFi. But WiDi
does use Wi-Fi to wirelessly move anything on a notebook screen to an HDTV--provided that the notebook is powered by one of
Intel's latest processors, and that the set either has WiDi support built in, or you add it by connecting a WiDi adapter to
one of the set's inputs.
number of products now let you stream Internet video to a TV. But WiDi makes streaming any notebook content to your big screen
exceptionally easy: You basically simply run Intel's software on the laptop. No additional wiring is required, and the technology
is by all accounts extremely low latency, meaning that the lag between content appearing on the notebook screen and on the
set is minimal.
The biggest drawback is
that the technology is proprietary: If your notebook doesn't have a current Intel CPU, you're out of luck. The good news is
that the Wi-Fi Alliance is working on a technology standard that will match WiDi's capabilities, and that the Alliance will
be able to certify for interoperability between products from different vendors. But that's a couple of years off.
D-Link MainstageNow, WiDi itself isn't new:
Intel first announced it at the 2010 CES, and Netgear introduced its first Push2TV WiDi adapter (the PTV1000) later that year.
But at CES this week, Intel announced a second-generation version of the technology that improves on the first by supporting
1080p resolution and protected content that you couldn't previously stream. To run the new version of WiDi, a notebook must
have an Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor and Intel HD Graphics.
Netgear, meanwhile, announced a second generation Push2TV (the PTV2000) that supports the advanced features, including
1080p video; due later this month with a suggested retail price of $120, it will come with an HDMI cable but also supports
And D-Link announced
its first product to support the technology, the upcoming MainStage adapter which will connect to TVs either via HDMI or component
cables. D-Link says the MainStage will ship by midyear with pricing to be announced later.
With excitement for the Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) building as the date draws near, LG has announced that it’s launching the world’s first native Wireless
Display (WiDi) televisions. WiDi is more commonly known as “wireless HDMI” for its ability to stream high definition
content over a 4Gbps data connection. Partnering with Intel, the first 3D versions of LG’s wireless HD televisions should
start rolling out sometime next year, with CES attendees getting the first look at them next month.
WiDi operates in the 60GHz extremely
high frequency (EHF) band. Because of the amount bandwidth available in that spectrum, it has the capability of transmitting
both compressed and uncompressed high definition content. With a theoretical top speed of 25Gbps, it certainly has the power
to get the heavy lifting of high definition done. Currently the technology has a fairly strict limitation in that the transmitter
needs to be able to “see” the receiver in the television, but it’s a major goal of the companies involved
to develop the standard to the point where this is no longer needed.
WiDi is one of several wireless HD standards that are
going to be competing for market dominance in the near future. WiGig and WHDI are two other standards
that are working towards the broadcast of large amounts of audio and video data wirelessly. However, with LG creating a strategic
alliance with Intel, support for the other standards may wane. LG was listed as a promoter of WiGig,
but it looks like that may be changing in the near future.
WiDi is available now to consumers in the form of an adapter that connects to the
HDMI port of current-gen televisions. Running around $100, they are a reasonable way for a user to be able to stream to their
television with no wires. With LG announcing its native displays, the cost to the end users will drop as the hardware will
be mass produced with the televisions.
The advantages of WiDi are obvious for home theater buffs. Removal of the need to stretch long runs of HDMI cable
through walls is something to be applauded and looked forward to. Look for announcements related to the LG WiDi televisions
during CES next month.