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Toshiba adds WiDi to its new range of Smart TVs

Intel's WiDi technology has been around for a while now, and the chances are that if you bought a Sandy Bridge equipped laptop in the past year or so, it probably supports WiDi.

WiDi, or Wireless Display technology, is a very clever system that allows you to stream video and audio directly between two devices. Unlike most of the streaming kit out there, WiDi does not need to piggyback off an existing network, and requires no router to dish out IP addresses to the various devices.

Put simply, WiDi allows you to send video and audio from your laptop to a similarly compatible screen. The problem with WiDi up to now is that although notebooks have supported the standard for some time, you still needed to buy a WiDi receiver and plug that into your TV in order for the system to work.

Toshiba, however, is set to change all that, since it's latest range of Smart TVs will all have WiDi receivers built into them. So, as well as being able to connect to your home or office network and stream from the Internet or DLNA compliant devices, they'll also be able to pair directly with a WiDi enabled laptop and stream content.

For the average home user, this means that any movies that you have stored on your laptop can be sent straight to your Toshiba Smart TV in glorious Full HD. But there's also a business case for WiDi. Assuming you've got a big-screen TV in your boardroom, anyone with a compatible notebook can send their presentation wirelessly to the screen. Those inevitable "I didn't bring the right video cable with me" conversations will be a thing of the past.

It's great to see that the convergence between IT and CE products isn't showing any signs of slowing down, with companies like Intel developing technologies that cross the boundaries seamlessly and provide benefits for both consumers and business users alike.

Of course the fact that Toshiba is also a major player in the notebook market makes the introduction of WiDi into its TVs somewhat unsurprising. But since the technology isn't proprietary, you'll be able to take advantage of WiDi no matter what brand of notebook you happen to own.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.