Apple may have pipped Intel to the post with "AirPlay" but Intel's WiDi is about to hit the market in force.
If you have a current-generation Core i3, i5 or i7 with Intel 802.11n wireless and Windows 7, your notebook already has Wi-Di (wireless display) built in -- the ability to stream the laptop screen to a TV or any other device with Wi-Di.
Until now, people haven't really been aware of Wi-Di because Intel has been waiting for the consumer tech industry to catch up and build the technology into TVs. Some notebook manufacturers also haven't installed the "My WiFi" and "Intel Wireless Display" software that enables the screen transmission.
Now, that's starting to happen, Intel says, demonstrating a Sony NSX-46GT1 TV with the tech built in during the keynote speech at IDF 2010 in San Francisco. Interestingly, although Intel said Wi-Di relied on the processing power of "Core" CPUs when it was first released, it was today demoing it running on a tablet prototype running on a dual-core Atom.
When the technology was first announced in 2009, Netgear released a $US99 adaptor for TVs called "Push2TV PTV1000" -- now available in Australia for $179. We found it through StaticICE for as little as $107 at the time of writing. In the US, retailer Best Buy is bundling that adaptor free of charge with some WiDi compatible notebooks, and TVs will soon be released with the tech built in.
The Sony Vaio S notebooks have the tech built in -- with a dedicated hotkey to launch it -- and the Toshiba Satellite E205 also has it, though more notebooks with WiDi being marketed as an active feature are due out before Christmas.
Intel WiDi is set to compete against Apple's "AirPlay" technology which will allow users of Apple devices to stream video and music to their TV or speakers with AirPLay built in -- or with an Apple TV connected. This makes it a pretty safe bet that Macs will not be getting WiDi support any time soon.