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Netgear Push2TV PTV1000 WiDi adapter

If you've been looking for an easy way to watch internet content from your PC then the Netgear Push2TV PTV1000 WiDi adapter holds some promise.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Netgear has announced the local availability of its Push2TV desktop streaming device which aims to make sharing laptop content to your TV easier.

The device was unveiled at the CES 2010 trade show in January and features an ad-hoc wireless display (WiDi) link between the set-top box and a compatible PC. It allows you to surf, play movies, and in the future may even let you play games on a big screen without having to worry about wiring up your laptop. The thing that separates it from other streaming devices is that it replicates your laptop display, giving you more freedom about the content you can watch.

CNET Australia got some hands-on time with the PTV1000 at Netgear's offices recently and found the device to be easy to use — press a button on the laptop and the dedicated software will sniff out and connect you to the Push2TV unit. To work the laptop, it not only needs a Core i3/i5/i7 processor but one which has a dedicated link between the graphics core and the Centrino wireless system. At the moment there is only one laptop on the market compatible with the box — the Toshiba Satellite E205 — though Netgear tells us that Sony and Dell aim to have laptops available in Q3 2010 while others will follow in Q4.

We watched several different movies and even browsed the web, and found that it was perfect for sharing YouTube videos on the big screen. Unfortunately, due to current limitations, the video maxes out at 720p before being compressed (and then uncompressed at the other end) and the lag is between 0.5 and 1 second. This makes it really hard to game with, and browsing was incredibly disorienting.

For connection to a TV the Push2TV features an AV output and a HDMI port.

However, for AU$179 we think that this technology is preferable to the on-board DLNA and widgets that TV companies are currently feeding us. Once the technology improves and the lag is reduced we think it shows great promise.