Can you connect a PC to your TV without wires? There's enough interesting display technologies around now that stream video directly from a graphics card onto a TV screen over the air, and when Alienware's new M18x appeared in the office armed with the latest version of Intel's Wireless Display (opens in new tab) technology (WiDi), we had to give it a go.
The key advantage of WiDi over other ways of streaming video without cables is that it uses a laptop's built-in WiFi transceiver and the graphics adaptor that's part of the CPU package. All you need to add is a receiver like the Netgear Push2TV (opens in new tab) next to your TV, which costs around £70, and you're good to go. Compared to spending the best part of £200 on a Wireless HDMI (opens in new tab) kit, it's a bargain.
Although WiDi compresses the video signal and there's obvious artefacting around text edges, it's pretty smooth and simple to set up. Once that's done, you walk into the living room with your laptop, turn the TV on, and... er... that's it. WiDi even takes the audio feed with it, so you can listen through your TV speakers.
The only problem is that it's not quite there for gaming yet. As the photo above shows, there's just under half a second of lag between the laptop screen at the bottom and the TV, which is mirroring the display. That's no good.
Still, there's hope. I spoke to ASUS this morning and they reckon they'll have a Wavi (opens in new tab) kit for us to review in time for next issue. That, it's claimed, will give us a lag free feed direct from a PC up to 25m away onto our TV screens and back again, so the remote unit (by the TV) will also double up as a USB hub.
If it works, and that's a big if, it'll make consoles redundant.