Intel has joined the parade of companies trying to beam video to your TV. The chip maker is betting on ‘WiDi,’ its technology for streaming media wirelessly from the PC to the TV.
Intel’s WiDi, which is short for “wireless display,” will remove the pain of stringing HDMI cables between the TV and the laptop.
“This display technology extends the laptop screen to the TV,” says Randy Stude, who handles gaming strategy for Intel. “You don’t need cables or to buy a single-purpose gadget to make the connection.”
Intel showed the WiDi technology at the company’s developer conference in San Francisco earlier this week.
The technology will come pre-loaded in new laptops. Already 44 models sold at Best Buy have the WiDi technology. But consumers will need to buy an additional $100 adapter from Netgear to complete the connection to the TV. Add a wireless remote such as Loop or Glide TV, and consumers can watch web content on a big screen 25 feet to 30 feet away.
Intel is just the latest in a long list of companies that are trying to make it easier for consumers to watch web video in their living room. Companies such as Apple, Boxee and Roku have offered streaming media players for web video enthusiasts.
In May, Google launched Google TV, a new set-top-box platform based on Google’s Android operating system that will combine cable programming with access to online photo sites, gaming and music.
Earlier this week, start-up Veebeam introduced a streaming media box that uses wireless USB to connect the laptop to the TV. Veebeam estimates 420 Mbps speeds for wireless USB and offers both 720p and 1080p high-definition video options.
Intel has chosen Wi-Fi to stream content wirelessly. Wi-Fi doesn’t require line of sight and it can reach about 9 Mbps speeds, says Stude. It is much slower than wireless HDMI that can offer speeds of upto 500 Mbps.
Intel’s software will work on all laptops using Arrendale based core i3, i5 and core i7 technologies. But they will have to have Intel’s 802.11-n chips.
“It’s more flexible than a Boxee box or Apple TV,” says Stude. “You are not limited to just a few types of content and put in a walled garden.”
The wireless streaming is currently to limited to 720p resolution and it can’t handle Blu-ray content. Stude says Intel plans to support higher resolution video in the future.
But first, Intel will have to survive the extremely competitive and crowded market. It will have to steal consumers’ attention away from the soon to launch Google TV and the newly introduced $100 Apple TV.
Intel hopes its clout in the PC market will put it ahead of competitors. In bundling the software and chips into the laptop, Intel may have a distribution channel that few of its competitors can match.
But to get there, it will have to find a way to cut price and integrate the $100 Netgear adapter into the laptop.
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Photos: Priya Ganapati/Wired.com
Fuente: Gadget Lab