In a private meeting cubicle concealed from the Las Vegas Convention Center crowds, Alliance officials at CES also demoed some of the first products based on its Miracast spec for displaying content stored on Wi-Fi enabled devices on an HDTV. This is useful for both businesses that want to put presentations on big screens and consumers that want to watch web video on their TV without having to use a home network.
Miracast requires support at both ends to enable the sender and recipient devices to make a Wi-Fi Direct (peer to peer) connection. Legacy devices can add Miracast support by using third-party adapters, such as the ActionTec ScreenBeam Wireless Display Kit that the Alliance used in its demo along with the Netgear Push2TV (PTV3000), which also supports Intel's competing (and proprietary) WiDi technology.
The Wi-Fi Alliance also recently absorbed the trade group supporting Wi-Gig, the ultrafast but short-range 60mhz wireless technology designed primarily to replace unsightly cables connecting HDTVs to peripherals and laptops to docking stations. This should speed up long-awaited product releases.
Leveraging the cloud HDTV
Many networking products now come with built-in support for free or fee-based cloud services. D-Link offers remote monitoring across its Cloud Router line (which is growing with the two aforementioned 802.11ac products. EnGenius announced separate cloud service offerings for businesses and consumers, due to launch by spring; the business service lets you monitor switches as well as access points, while the consumer service will include remote access to media.
Home entertainment continues to drive new product announcements: Netgear is introducing a NeoTV Prime media streamer with Google TV support, while Asus announced the Asus Qube, which also delivers Google TV and a remote that also lets you control the device with voice or gestures. Reflecting increased consumer adaption, routers and other networking gear continues to arrive in diverse industrial design, from D-Link's dark cylindrical towers to the "pod" theme of EnGenius's consumer line.