Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wireless 1080p to Your TV with Asus WiCast

Asus WiCastIntel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology has been very mixed since it landed not too long ago. If you really break it down, there is a lot to sift through and a lot of things to consider. Things like latency, the limitations of 720p, being stuck with Intel HD graphics, purchasing the wireless box for your television and, what could possibly be the most important question, whether this is practical or not.

In regards to all of this, decision making has been split. Vivek seems to really like the system, whereas it seems a whole heck of a lot simpler to just buy an HDMI cable and plug it in. Even if you remove the factor of practicality, there are still a few very frustrating limitations. However, Asus seeks to lay those limitations to rest with the new WiCast setup they have just created.

Asus, acording to a recent press release, has promised almost invisible latency, full 1080p video and even compatibility with anything that has an HDMI port. Probably the biggest thing people will have to overcome when first using WiCast is the initial setup. There are a bunch of little pieces of hardware included in the box like two WiCast boxes, transmitter, receiver, two HDMI cables, two AC adapters and a single USB cable. Thankfully, there are not installation disks and the manual is pretty thin.

Both the transmitter and receiver have an AC adapter, HDMI and mini-USB ports. The receiver's mini-USB port is covered though it can be used to power the device. The receiver's USB is most likely going to be your preferred method of powering the transmitter. This means that the second AC adapter is not necessary but could also be used as an emergency backup or if all the USB ports on your laptop are occupied.

As far as installation goes that is pretty much it. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory and once you hook up your HDMI cables you can pretty much call it a day. This is one of the best things WiCast has over Intel's WiDi, no software to install and no hardware limitations outside of the HDMI port.

Getting the Asus WiCast to work is really quite easy. According to the manual, syncing the transmitter and receiver could take up to a minute but that all depends on how far away the two are from each other. The wireless monitor of your computer should appear as any traditional wired one should and switching audio over from your computer to WiCast is simple.

1080p works great with no latency and the audio sounds as good as anything. Range between the transmitter and receiver is said to be 33 feet though keeping it more than five to seven feet away isn't recommended if you are looking for the best quality. One cool feature is that the WICast is device agnostic which means you can use it with an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or any other type of HDMI-equipped hardware. The only problem is if you are running the WiCast off of your laptop's battery, then your laptop will take a significant hit in battery life.

Overall, the WiCast is a great value for anybody looking for a device like this, and at $200 you won't go broke trying to get one.
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1 comment:

matt said...

I've been looking at laptop cards and was thinking of a Franklin U600. Has anybody had any experience with these?