Use Wi-Di to Beam Video from Your Laptop to Your TV
Whether it’s sharing a slideshow at a family reunion, using the Web to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show or playing video games, sometimes the TV in your living room is a better place to view your content than your laptop’s tiny display. But getting that content to the big screen hasn’t been easy—that is until laptops started coming equipped with Intel Wireless Display (Wi-Di).
This spring there were just a three laptops with built-in Wi-Di, but that’s changing as new models start hitting stores this summer. You’ll find it on HP’s Pavilion dv5 ($650, shipping soon), Sony’s Vaio EA Series ($770), and Toshiba’s Satellite M645 ($730), to name just a few.
With Wi-Di built into your laptop, you can easily treat any TV with as a wireless monitor, as long as it has a Wi-Di receiver. That means buying a Netgear Push2TV adapter ($99) that plugs into your TV’s HDMI or composite video jack, since no TVs currently have built-in Wi-Di.
Unfortunately, Wi-Di does have its limitations. Thanks to the Motion Picture Association of America's rabid fear of pirating, you can’t watch copy-protected content, which rules out most commercial DVD and Blu-ray movies. And, because of slight transmission delays, games which require fast reaction times may not be as enjoyable. Also, Wi-Di only sends a basic HD signal at 720p resolution—not the higher resolution 1080i or 1080p Full HD.
But you can’t beat Wi-Di for its convenience. And, even with its current limitations, Wi-Di is still a big step forward in PC-to-TV integration.