What is WiDi?

New Intel processors provide another reason to love your HDTV

By now most of us know about WiFi technology. In fact, if you're on a wireless Internet connection, you are probably using it right now. But now there's something new: WiDi, short for Wireless Display, an Intel technology that's included in Intel Core processors

WiDi allows you to share laptop content wirelessly on your big screen HDTV. You can share your photos, videos, and music, or enjoy a Blu-ray disc or DVD wirelessly.  The technology was first introduced at CES 2010 and offered the ability to play 720p resolution video with stereo audio and 2.4 GHz connectivity via WiFi. Recently the second generation was introduced with the ability to wirelessly display full 1080p HD resolution off of your laptop, along with 5.1 surround sound, up to 5GHz WiFi connectivity, and support for DVD and Blu-ray compatibility.


Also read: Choosing a Home Theater System

The good news is that while other systems require a dongle or other external device that you attach to your PC, the WiDi provided by Intel Core processors is built in. WiDi uses an Intel Centrino 802.11n WiFi wireless card that's integrated into the PC to create a Personal Area Connection between the laptop and a WiDi enabled adapter that’s connected to your TV.

Intel Wireless Display requires a compatible laptop and TV adaptor.  With Intel WiDi, first-time set up is pretty straightforward.  Connect an adaptor to your TV, complete the simple set-up process once, and you’re off and running.  There’s no need to go through the cumbersome process of adding a device to your home network – it just works. 

But no matter how you slice it, any computer that has WiDi technology built in is already, by definition, souped up when compared to previous generation of Intel-processor computers. The new 2nd generation Intel Core processors (which are required to get 2nd generation WiDi capabilites) have incredible speed, and independent tests seem to be verifying this. How fast? It depends on which chip you get.  Here’s a quick overview of the three different versions.

The Toshiba Satellite P755-S5272 15.6 inch Notebook is one of many computers to offer 2nd Gen Intel Core Processors and WiDi capabilities.


Three flavors of 2nd Gen Intel Core Processors

Intel’s 2nd Gen Core processors come in three flavors. The first is the 2nd Generation Intel Core i3 processor, which offers responsive multitasking capabilities and built in visuals that deliver an immersive PC experience. The Intel Core i5 processor automatically boosts performance via Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which Intel says will increase your PC's speed. The Intel Core i7 is the top of the  line processor for HD or 3D, multitasking and multimedia performance, offering what Intel says is the fastest, most responsive performance.


OK, I'm Ready To Buy. Which Computers Have This Wonderful Thing?


Adorama carries an extensive line of notebook computers featuring 2nd Gen Intel Core Processors and WiDi compatibility. Go here for the complete list! or click on any of the links on the right side of this page.


Finally, Don’t foreget the adaptor: WiDi adapters will let you stream HD video and other content from your WiDi-capable laptop to your HDTV. Netgear's Push2TV PTV2000  (shown above) costs less than $100 and will work with any 2nd Generation Intel Core Processor-based computer that has WiDi built in.

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