Intel WiDi – Wirelessly view your PC screen on your TV

Posted Posted in Connected Home, Intel, WiDi, Wireless Display, Wireless Streaming

There is a lot of interest in this technology and naturally, accompanying confusion as to what this is and how to get it. Some of this has been driven by a recent Windows 7 was My Idea commercial. That commercial and possibly similar ones, have stirred up things in the past few weeks. See:

 

What they don’t tell you is that you need a specific computer with Intel GMA HD graphics and the Intel WiFi embedded radio. Initially, three laptops only were initially  available, exclusively from Best Buy.

For more in depth info on the technology see:

Dell has just announced an Inspiron model that can be custom ordered to include this technology.  You will need to be sure to order or configure to order the right combination of components including the Intel HD GMA video chip and Intel WiFi. And be sure to order the Netgear Push2TV adapter as well.

Intel announced on June 21,2010 that “Intel Wireless Display is now available on more than 25 systems based on Intel Core i3 or Intel Core i5 processors from manufacturers like ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. It is now available at more than 10 retailers including Amazon, Best Buy,Dell.com,Fry”s, Sony Style, OfficeMax, Tiger Direct, and more. Enhancements to Intel Wireless Display are available for download with the 1.2 software version. This enables people to access an extended display mode for watching a video on TV while surfing the Internet on the laptop. New remote only mode allows you to watch a video with a black screen on the laptop to lower glare and distractions. A new fast cursor improves navigation on the TV. Intel Wireless Display is available on select Intel Core i5 or i5 systems and requires a Push to TV adapter from Netgear.”

I’ve been using this technology since it became available in January and recommend it highly.  I blogged about it here.

Intel Wireless Display is a Happy HTPC Experience

Posted Posted in WiDi, Wireless Display

Intel’s Wireless Display fills the big gap in my Windows Media Center home theater experience.
This technology, first demo’d at CES 2010, may be one of the bigger successes in the HTPC and networking arenas as new computers (currently only laptops) hit the market with the Intel 2010 i3/i5/i7 processors. In a nutshell, I can use a laptop computer with an Intel i5 processor, Intel’s embedded graphics chip, Intel’s 6200 WiFi adapter, and a Netgear Push to TV bridge.

So why is this such a big gap filler for me? My current home theater setup includes V2 Media Center extenders connected to the three HD TV’s in my home, with the Media Center desktop residing in my loft home office. What I can’t get with this set up (without buying a PC and connecting one to every television) are all the Internet based Media Center extra’s such as Internet TV and Netflix.  Problem solved. With WiDi, I’ve got a nice, light (4.2 pound) 13.3 inch widescreen laptop to use anywhere in my home, around town, or on the road AND I’m able to display all of these Media Center extras. I gain the ability to browse the web and display anything I want on my TV’s.

The technology is nearly idiot proof. Connect the Netgear device via the included HDMI cable. Hit the special button on the laptop keyboard and enter a 4 digit code after your device is found. All the networking setup is handled without user intervention. WPA2security is configured via WPS (wireless provisioning services) behind the scenes to secure the Personal Area Network (PAN) connection between the laptop and the PTV device. An ICS connection to the Intel internal WiFi is also established behind the scenes. You won’t see this in any of Windows 7’s GUI’s or discover it with netsh,but it is present. In fact,while the 6200 Intel NIC is a/b/g/n capable, when using WiDi with the Netgear device, it is not possible to connect to the 5GHz radio in a dual band router. An error message is returned stating only 2.4 GHz is supported. Some additional good news, even in my overly saturated 2.4 GHz environment of 19 different SSID’s, I had absolutely no interference.

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My 52 inch TV, Netgear PTV attached via HDMI, waiting for a connection

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WiDi equipped Laptop, connected and ready to rock and roll

The quality is awesome. My recorded (via cable card and OCUR/DCT) content looks great. (All the DRM rules apply here.)

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Some HD Recorded TV..

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Stargate Atlantis in full HD, via WiDi

Internet TV (the missing piece in my home theater experience) in Windows Media Center looks good.

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Star Trek content, Windows Media Center Internet TV

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Streaming Star Trek from Windows Media Center via WiDi.

Anything I want using the Media Center interface is streamed to the connected TV, music.. pix… videos..

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Music – WMC via WiDi

Anything displayed on your desktop can be streamed. Want to read email? Use Windows Live Messenger? Participate in newsgroups or forums? Browse the web? Yep, it’s in there.

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Windows 7 – Everything and anything over WiDi

And for me, there is another huge gap filler. My main beef with Windows Media Center Internet TV is the lack of HD content. With a 52 inch state of the art 1080p TV, can you blame me for wanting HD streaming? Here’s the good news. If one of the networks or other source offers an asset in HD for streaming, WiDi handles it effortlessly. As shown earlier in this post, Windows Media Center Internet TV offers a large amount of CBS content, including (at least at the present time) all three seasons of Star Trek, the original series. Inside Media Center, only SD is available, but I can navigate to the CBS website and view the remastered Star Trek original series in glorious full screen HD.

Needless to say, I’m a very happy camper these days.

Clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, media center, Media Center Windows 7, windows media center, WiDi, Intel Wireless Display, how-to, Tip