CNET First Look
Hands-on with Intel's Wireless DisplayDoes Intel's WiDi deliver on its promise of no-fuss PC-to-TV transmission?
[Background music] Dan Ackerman [assumed spelling] : >> I'm Dan Ackerman, and we're here today. Take a look at Intel's Wireless Display Technology that lets you take your laptop and send signals from it directly to a big screen plasma or LCD TV. It's a great way to get streaming video or downloaded video content up on your living room TV without using a complicated media extender or physically walking over and plugging your laptop into the set. Now, what you need is a laptop that's wireless display enabled. They also call that WIDI. There's about three models right now. Those come with a special hardware and software built into the laptop, and they're going to come bundled with a box from Netgear that you plug into the back of your TV, and that's what your laptop sees and sends the signal to. Now, once you've got the box connected to your TV, you're going to see a message like this saying, "Hey, we're hooked up, and now start the wireless display software on your computer so you can see the adapter and send the signal over there." So right now, we're taking a look, and we see the Netgear adapter. So we're going to select it and connect to it right now. It's actually a fairly seamless process when it works right. Sometimes we got to hit rescan a few times over to see the adapter, but once it does, now we're connected to the laptop. And you see we're mirroring the image here on the laptop display, up on this big screen TV, even though there's totally no connection going on here. It's all wireless going straight to this little Netgear box right now. Now, there's a bit of a delay, maybe about 2 to 3 seconds see when I move, let's say, a window around on the screen like this, not quite 1 to 1 right there. So it's not really great for web surfing, obviously, you can't play video games on it. It's really meant for streaming audio and video. When you do that, it actually works quite well. We queued up a couple of HD movie trailers. And we're going to start a trailer here on the laptop. It's going to jump right to the big screen TV right behind us, and I can even turn it on full screen. And there you go. That's a 720P trailer running on the laptop, running a couple of seconds behind on the desktop, audio and video going in through the HDMI. The image is really good. There's a little bit of [inaudible] there, but it's definitely not bad, and we're actually able to take a laptop and walk all the way down the hall with it and get about 90 feet away before the signal started to break up. It's also great for streaming web video, whether it's Hooloo, or Netflix on Demand or even CNet TV videos. And if you just want to take something you're watching online, get it up on your TV, all you got to do is hit that connect button once you have the thing set up, and you're going to get your video up on your screen. Great way to share stuff with friends, with family without going through a lot of trouble. Now, initially, you're going onlhy to see this on a handful of laptops. As you can see, it's a little bit laggy and getting it connected can take a couple of minutes to set up. It's a little bit of touch and go. Once it's set up, it usually works pretty well. We look forward to seeing this on more and more laptops going forward. Maybe eventually, it'll be built into almost every Intel laptop, and you can just go out and buy $99 sold separately, Netgear connecter box if you want to use that feature on your big screen TV. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that's a look at Intel's Wireless Display Technology.