There is a lot of video content online but watching it on your television remains a hit or miss affair. The market is fragmented as best so what you get depends on your specific hardware and the vendor partnerships that go with it. With one TV (or connected Blu-ray player) you can watch Netflix or a YouTube stream out of the box. With another you can plug into Cinema Now content or something else.
Surfing openly or watching anything from anywhere, however, remains elusive. The only option for unfettered net access through a TV is to connect a computer directly. That’s not always possible depending on the input/output ports on the devices. And even when plugging in is an option – getting display resolutions synched to deliver a good quality image isn’t always easy.
Recognizing the problem, and looking to at least ease some of the connectivity frustration, Intel’s been pushing out what amounts to another intermediary solution called Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) for a few months. Showcased at CES, the technology, is designed to wirelessly ‘push’ a computers video and audio stream to a bundled receiver you connect to your television by HDMI or composite A/V inputs.
So far, there have been only a few laptops offering the feature. Good news for the WiDi platform, that’s about to change. At a press conference for the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan, Intel has announced another 30 products featuring the technology are on the way.
WiDi isn’t likely to be a mainstream hit, and software restrictions block delivery of some copyright protected content (iTunes DRM encoded video, for example), but for some in the market for a new laptop , the technology does offer a level of convenience and ease of use above and beyond presently available solutions for bridging Internet video into your living room.