Tuesday D-Linked revealed a cool new device that allows users to wirelessly stream content from an Intel Core-based PC or laptop onto a big-screen HDTV. Called the MainStage WiDi 2.0 TV adapter (DHD-131), D-Link's gadget essentially extends the desktop over-the-air so that users can browse the Internet, share photos with family, or view 1080p HD videos in 5.1 digital surround sound.
There's a catch, of course: the PC or laptop must come packed with Intel's Wireless Display technology and a supporting Sandy Bridge 2nd-gen Intel Core processor for broadcasting HD content. Older Intel Wireless Display-enabled laptops with Intel's previous-generation Intel Core processors will only be able to stream up to 720p resolution and stereo audio using a single 2.4 GHz band. The new Sandy Bridge version features dual-band connectivity (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and the ability to stream protected content from DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
"The Internet is truly indispensable in today's homes -- whether for enjoyment, work, school, or sharing family moments," said Daniel Kelley, associate vice president of consumer marketing, D-Link North America. "MainStage lets you wirelessly project movies and TV shows from Netflix and Hulu, or personal home videos and photo slideshows, to the best screen in the home, the HDTV. If you already own a notebook with Intel Wireless Display, it's one of the easiest ways to work and play online from your couch."
D-Link said that MainStage simply plugs into the HDTV via an HDMI or a composite A/V connection (red, white, yellow). With a push of a button, the device automatically connects to the network's router – typically Intel's My WiFi Technology and Intel Wireless Display software are already pre-installed on the PC or laptop. Users will also have the ability to show a movie or a presentation on an HDTV while simultaneously working on the rig that's currently projecting the content.
MainStage (DHD-131) is now available throughout D-Link's network of retail and e-tail outlets for an MSRP of $129.99 in the U.S., and will be available in Canada in July for $129.99. It will also be offered at the company's online store, http://www.dlinkshop.com.