PC to TV technology has, in retrospect, been around for a while. Traditionally, people were plugging an S-Video cable into the back of their laptops to stream content onto their TVs. The cable divides two separate signals for color and brightness and sends these signals from the PC to any device that has an S-Video input jack. Although a relatively easy concept, using cables can cause a mess on the floor and is a tripping hazard for anyone entering and exiting the room.
Fortunately, Intel has come up with a solution. We can now stream PC content on our TVs without the need for messy cables, all using Wireless Display Technology, commonly referred to as WiDi. When it debuted, WiDi only came built-in on three laptops from Dell, Toshiba, and Sony respectively. However since then Intel has had a good amount of time to fine-tune the specifics of the technology, and it is now widely supported across a number of platforms and comes pre-loaded on the Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad series as well as a long list of Samsung ultrabooks and Asus laptops.
To start things off, the software-hardware combination is best suited for PCs running on a 3rd Generation Intel Core processor, as these specs allow users to stream 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound. The WiDi package comes with a Netgear adaptor and HDMI cable. The adaptor itself is no bigger than a wireless router, allowing it to be hidden out of view beside or behind the TV. To initiate installation, users simply log on to the software on their PC and follow the instructions. Right after installation users will be able to see a mirror image of their PC on their TV and begin playing music from their personal libraries or sit back and stream DVDs from their laptops. To tweak image settings, use the resizing tool and increase or decrease the size of the screen. Audio transmission is not controlled by the volume of your PC, but rather by the TV’s speakers. The signal range from PC to TV is surprisingly good, and has the capability of being set-up over 80 feet away from the actual TV.
The WiDi Technology is great for experiencing movies, games, online videos and even connecting with friends and sharing photos directly on your TV screen in real-time. It gets rid of the need for a tangle of cables on your living room or dorm room floor and comes with a simple, out-of-the-box set-up. Nevertheless, if you are the old fashioned type and insist on connecting your devices to the TV with an S-Video cable, VGA, DVI, or an HDMI cable, you may want to consider reading a short guide on how to connect laptop to tv and save yourself hours of hair-pulling and frustration.