Lenovo Enters Streaming Device Market With Lenovo Cast

At Lenovo Tech World, Lenovo demonstrated a new streaming device known as the Lenovo Cast.

Being able to easily send content from our computers and smart devices to larger displays is a feature everyone wants at some point. Several companies have recently been working on devices to do just this, but the market is still quite young and very competitive. The NZXT Doko steamer and Valve's Steam Link are just a couple of examples that come to mind.

Lenovo is now tossing its hat in the ring with the Lenovo Cast. The company was prompted to do this after a study was performed finding that 80 percent of people use tablets at home, while 52 percent use them to watch TV. They are typically also sharing the content with other people in their household. Because the main focus was on watching TV or sharing content, Lenovo felt the need to develop a device of its own to make both simpler.

The Lenovo Cast device simply connects to any display with an HDMI port. Tablets, smartphones, or PCs connect to the Lenovo Cast via Wi-Fi and use DLNA or Miracast to stream content at up to 1080p resolution. Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz transmissions are accepted, which help to improve the distance the device content can be transmitted -- up to 20 meters away.

At this distance there is a two-second latency delay, which would cause terrible input lag for gaming or some other tasks, but should have little to no effect on video content. At shorter distances, the latency should decrease, potentially making it a more viable option for light game streaming, too. It is also capable of penetrating through cement walls when streaming content, though this results in reduced transmission distance.

"Today people want more from their devices -- the freedom technology gives them to accomplish more. They want to share a variety of content from their smartphones and tablets such as online videos and games with friends and family on a larger screen," said Liu Jun, executive vice president and president, Mobile Business Group Lenovo. "The new Lenovo Cast is our latest device created to enable such personalized experiences."

The Lenovo Cast is expected to cost only $49 USD, and it will be available worldwide in August.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.