Who Needs a Widget? Philips Lets You Stream Any Content from Laptop to TV

Philips Wednesday showed off a wireless technology which allows you to stream any content you can see on your laptop screen to a compatible Philips TV. Instead being limited to whatever Internet services are installed on your Internet-connected TV, Philips Wireless Media Connect lets you send any local or Internet content from your laptop wirelessly to its new 7700 Series LED Eco TV or to its BDP7320 Blu-ray player.

Many Internet-connected TVs offer on-screen widgets which connect you with Web content from specific sites. For example, the 7700 Series Eco TVs include a direct link to Netflix and will add Roxio Cinema Now and Blockbuster On Demand widgets in the fall.

Philips Wireless Media Connect technology, however, allows you to connect to any site on the Internet on a computer and view the content on compatible Philips devices, which for now includes only the two units mentioned above. The technology won’t be available until the fall.

Philips Wireless Media Connect requires special firmware built into the TV or Blu-ray player and requires you to install Wireless Media Connect software on your laptop. Once the connection is made, however, the TV screen replicates whatever is seen on the laptop and audio is automatically switched from the computer to the TV. You navigate the TV screen with your mouse.

For example, the Philips technology could be used to share photos or videos with a large group, conduct a PowerPoint presentation on the TV screen or initiate a Skype video call using the TV for incoming video and audio. You can stream HD video content directly to the TV from local media or the Internet. All data traffic is carried via standard Wi-Fi connections and the home network.

During a press event in New York, Philips representatives showed the technology working with a 7700 Series LED Eco TV, which is available with a 40- ($1,399), 46- ($1,699) or 55-inch ($2,299) screen. According to Philips, the 7700 Series LED Eco TVs are 40 percent more efficient than LCD TVs backlit with CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) lighting. The units offer a proprietary screen dimming technology to enhance blacks and also offer a light sensor to adjust screen brightness according to ambient light.

The ultra-slim 7700 Series LED televisions are available now, but the Philips Wireless Media Connect technology won’t be available in the TVs until September or in the BDP7320 Blu-ray player ($230) until October. The Eco TVs are built under license for Philips by P&F, a subsidiary of the Funai Electric Co., Ltd.

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