What is Intel Wireless Display?

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"What is Intel Wireless Display? I got a new computer with Intel Wireless Display, but I'm not sure what that is."

Intel Wireless Display refers to technology created by Intel allowing you to stream your Windows desktop to an external screen, replacing the need for a cable connection between your computer and the screen. As of this writing, the only computers with Intel Wireless Display come pre-configured. You can't download Intel Wireless Display and add it to your computer. The hardware and software requirements for Intel Wireless Display compatibility are an Intel Core processor, Intel HD-Graphics, and Intel My WiFi, along with Windows 7. Read on for more on how Intel Wireless Display works.

Just having Intel Wireless Display capability included in your computer is only part of the wireless display process. You also need an Intel Wireless Display compatible receiver connected to your computer. At the moment, the only available receiver is the Netgear Push2TV adapter. The Push2TV adapter connects to an HDMI port on the HDTV or monitor you want to connect to wirelessly. When you launch the Intel Wireless Display software on your computer, it detects available adapters, allowing you to connect to any wireless adapter in your home or office.

Using Intel Wireless Display

Intel Wireless Display is not a perfect wireless computing solution, but it does work extremely well for entertainment. Streaming HD video from your computer sends both the movie and soundtrack to the HDMI port on your HDTV. You can easily browse your photo library, and if you wanted to use your home theater to listen to music on your computer, Intel Wireless Display facilitates wireless music streaming too.

Productivity solutions, like word processing, or anything where you might need more instant on screen feedback are less optimized for use with Intel Wireless Display. There is a slight 500 millisecond delay between what you do on your computer and when it appears on the remote screen. For things like movies this doesn't matter, because the entire moive is delayed by the 500 milliseconds, which means you won't notice. If you are typing and looking at the wireless connected display, you will notice a lag between typing and when the text appears on screen.

How Intel Wireless Display Works

Intel Wireless Display streams the video buffer of your computer's video card to the wireless adapter connected to your HDTV. It uses the standard WiFi radio in your computer, with some custom coding done by Intel that allows you to access two wireless connections at the same time, which means you can surf the Internet and stream your desktop to a wireless connected display without needing two separate WiFi connections. The video streaming works because Intel is able to directly access the video frame buffer of your video card, route it to your laptop display, and also send a wireless copy to the wireless adapter to display on your HDTV.

In an ideal scenario, this whole process would be built into HDTV screens, making it so you don't need an external adapter. For now that's not possible, so you need an adapter like the Netgear Push2TV. If you have a laptop with Intel Wireless Display built in, I recommend getting an adapter. While the laptop and Netgear Push2TV I used for testing were provided to me by Intel, now that I've tried Intel Wireless Display and see how it works, I will be highly inclined to seek out this feature in my next laptop purchase.