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Intel Announces WiDi - Wireless Laptop A/V Out

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

This would be great for next-generation consoles.

While they may not be the most efficient tool for the job, laptops make great little home theatre PCs given that nearly all of them have both audio and video out. The hardest, and perhaps most hassling part is getting them hooked up and then trying to operate the laptop while it's tethered to the TV. Intel believes it has the answer to that hassle with the Wireless Display – or WiDi.

Officially unveiled at CES, the technology uses 802.11n WiFi technology to stream video and audio wirelessly to an adapter hooked up to a TV. It's a pretty slick trick for those who hate wires.

"Computing in the home is rapidly expanding beyond the PC," said Intel Corporation President and CEO Paul Otellini. "The TV will continue to be a focal point of the home while becoming smarter, much in the way phones are evolving into smartphones. New user interfaces and forms of connectivity will change the way we interact with entertainment in the home."

Of course, for it all to work, Intel wants to keep everything in the family, which means you'll need one of the new mobile Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processors with Intel HD integrated graphics, Centrino Wireless N, and Windows 7.

The wireless adapter box will cost an estimated $100 and will ship January 17.

More on CES 2010.

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  • 7 Hide
    square965 , January 8, 2010 8:40 PM
    You HAVE to have integrated graphics for this to work? -.-
  • 6 Hide
    lunyone , January 8, 2010 8:57 PM
    I'm betting you can't use an AMD chip for this??
  • -1 Hide
    Marcus Yam , January 8, 2010 9:32 PM
    Seems that way right now, but don't forget that all the Westmere processors that Intel lists as a requirement have integrated Intel HD graphics on the same chip package.

    If you have the CPU, you'll have the Intel HD graphics, whether you're using it or not.
  • 3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 8, 2010 9:38 PM
    Rapidly expanding? WTF I was watching TV on my computer in 2006! Maybe not with N technology, but with a coaxial. Catch up already, people!
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , January 8, 2010 9:42 PM
    Low resolution, low refresh rate etc.
    I'll pass.
  • 2 Hide
    Shadow703793 , January 8, 2010 10:04 PM
    Marcus YamSeems that way right now, but don't forget that all the Westmere processors that Intel lists as a requirement have integrated Intel HD graphics on the same chip package. [...] isplay.htmIf you have the CPU, you'll have the Intel HD graphics, whether you're using it or not.

    What I still want to know is can we disable the on chip IGP? esp. if you have a GPU and OCing.
  • 0 Hide
    loomis86 , January 8, 2010 10:12 PM
    This is an awesome idea!
    Pretty soon we'll be using our cellphones as the computer/browser, our TV as a wireless monitor, and a wireless keyboard for input. anamaniac has no vision. There's no reason why this tech couldn't be used on a computer monitor instead of a TV. BTW, I wouldn't plug the adapter directly into a TV. I'd plug it into an RF modulator and plug the modulator into the TV.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , January 8, 2010 11:34 PM
    bah, saw the Intel demo on the cesweb site - they only showed it for streaming a movie, and you could clearly see a half second delay from the laptop to the TV. The key word here is STREAMING, i.e. the TV keeps up with the incoming video data from the laptop, but not necessarily instantaneously. Maybe OK for watching films from your laptop so long as the audio is streamed without lip-sync problems, but for interactive use with a mouse/trackpad, forget it. This is NOT a general purpose wireless monitor solution. I'll stick with the simpler solution that's already been available for years: wireless keyboard and mouse on the sofa with the PC locally cabled to the TV.
  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , January 9, 2010 3:02 AM
    the device actually can do 1920x1080 or higher at 60hz
    but it is limited to the resolution of the laptop display since it only works in clone mode and not dual display (intel driver problem and not a widi problem)

    only problem is it has about a 1-3 second delay between a change on the laptop screen and tv. From the info I have seen on it was that even though it only does one thing, the one thing that it does is extremely good to have.

    with it you never need to worry about what format is supported because if the computer can play it then it will always work

    sadly it will fail since it seems to be restricted to intel video hardware which do not handle the offloading of stuff like this so there is a high CPU usage

    if they don't make it work with desktop PC's no one will buy it.

    what intel needs to do is include this technology into a TV so there can be live desktop streaming, just about everyone on the planet with a computer has a wireless router. have the device or tv connect to the wireless network and have a program that allows any computer on the network to live stream the desktop to the tv

    but with the way it is now being limited to intel video hardware and requiring a fast system, the laptops that meet that requirements will be very few.

    the device is only designed for watching video and listening to music and it's advantage over devices like a xbox 360 is that it supports all video and audio formats that the computer supports.
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , January 9, 2010 3:57 AM
    I'll stick with my HDMI cable and zero delay time, thanks
  • 0 Hide
    goodguy713 , January 9, 2010 5:34 PM
    its called a n bridge .. you people.. having a sony with ethernet capability is helpful but say you have a ps3 and a UNPN protocol server you can stream your video and audio from any where in your house from any computer on your network .. its not rocket science..( NO PUN INTENDED) SAFE AUTO COMMERCIAL but .. seriously .. all you need is hand break or windows media center.. a good software based UNPN and An external hard drive or use your internal and your set i watch lots of movies that way .ever wonder why handbreak has so many presets? lol you can even do it in quick time or windows media player. also the ps3 wireless g... kinda sucks but if you get a wireless N bridge you can get the same effect .just hook up an ethernet cable to the ps3 .the more shielded the better. or save your self some real money and run it through the basement. ha ha. no need to have the computers any where near the tv.. so .. this to me is just pull another set top box to clutter the good old entertainment center.. and for those of you with wall mounted tv's looks like a bit of renovations might be needed... trust if there is one thing about gadgets theres always more than one way to skin a cat .. unless your a hairless cat and then your just rare.. lol
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , January 10, 2010 2:41 PM
    Going wireless seems to be a good idea; however, it's my understanding that hardwiring devices has some advantages for the time being.
  • 0 Hide
    makwy2 , January 10, 2010 2:57 PM
    I'm not sure how effective this will actually be... seems it is a large box without much of a chance before smaller and more effecient alternatives emerge.
  • 0 Hide
    alexie , January 10, 2010 4:06 PM
    Yes i hate wires too but i also hate to power the adapter that's plugged to TV. Is there a way to put the receiver into the TV or is there a way to get power from scart or HDMI?
    That will be better i think.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , January 11, 2010 10:05 AM
    I'll pass on any _proprietary_ tech like this.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , January 11, 2010 1:27 PM
    This is good for one-way communications (e.g. watching video), but not good for two-way communications / interactive applications (e.g. gaming, conferencing, etc.) due to the lag. For office tools and powerpoint presentations it might suffice, however.

    I think Loomis is on to something with the phone-to-TV idea. I've had similar thoughts since I got an hp iPAQ 6945. As a road warrior, I would love to be able to shed my laptops (yes, I have to carry one per client) and just carry a PDA-phone device around that can connect up to monitors, keyboards, mice, networks and printers. The elimination of airport hassles alone would make such a device worth its weight in gold.

    Current technologies don't allow for more than ~640x480 res output from such devices as far as I am aware, but if I could output 1080p and have enough CPU power for office tools I would lose the laptops forever.
  • 0 Hide
    lowguppy , January 11, 2010 1:36 PM
    This is the infant stage for Wireless video. Its awkward. Once it matures, it will likely be standard, but that's probably a year or two off. I can't wait for wireless video output to a fexible display, or a headset.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 14, 2010 11:56 PM
    Nobody reports - what happens if you have two in the room? Or the neighbor in the apartment next to you?
    Will Intel support a Dual screen? Yes, some of us have two HDMI in the living room cabled up to a PC. Some games support that mode.
  • 0 Hide
    cata12 , March 19, 2010 9:39 AM
    If you have 2 TV's you will need a box for each TV. You can see the CES demo and how to set this up here:

    Professional Streaming Consultant
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2010 6:50 AM
    pfff that's another way to make money ... what can i say ... i stream movies from my pc to my TV wireless with thru Wii with samba ... for FREEE