Cablevision to test PC-to-TV service

Cable provider will begin testing a service called PC to TV Media Relay that's designed to let customers watch content from their computers on their TVs.

With more people keen to watch finger-chomping siblings, evolving dance moves, and chuckling babies on their TVs, Cablevision is trying out a service that could help.

The cable company announced a new service on Wednesday called PC to TV Media Relay that will let customers view content from their computers on their TVs. Similar to a remote desktop program, the service will wirelessly share whatever is on your PC with your TV screen, including e-mail, applications, and of course Web content.

"With our PC to TV Media Relay service, we are putting an end to the need for families to huddle around their laptops or PCs to watch content together," Cablevision Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge said in a statement. "This new service will make it easy for our television customers to take broadband services including Internet video, as well as family photos or anything else displayed on a computer screen and move it to the television with the click of the mouse."

A technical trial of the service is slated to begin by June. Setting up the service will require a one-time software download and installation on the PC. No special equipment or hookups will be needed. However, the service will only work for customers who have both their cable TV and Internet through Cablevision.

Computer content will be piped to the TV on a dedicated channel available only to the customer, Cablevision said. Though geared for Windows PCs, a compatible service for the Mac is in the works. PC to TV Media Relay could also expand to include handheld devices and other wireless gadgets.

Cablevision's service area is concentrated in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

A recent survey found that more people are hooking up their TVs to the Internet, either through Net-connected television sets or via game consoles and digital video boxes.

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