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Issue #237: February 5, 2012

Q: I have an HP Pavilion dv6-3025dx Entertainment Notebook with Windows 7. Can I use a Netgear Push2tv (pvt2000) to wirelessly connect it to VIZIO Model XVT553SV LED LCD HDTV? Thank you very much.

Lynn D.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A: After 236 issues of It’s Geek to Me, countless questions about Windows, Outlook Express, and little red-X’s where there should be pictures, FINALLY – a hardware question! I had to do a little bit of research to come up with an answer for you, Lynn, as I’d never even heard of Push2TV. The detailed information in your question helped a lot. For the benefit of the rest of my readers, Push2TV is a device that allows you to view your computer screen wirelessly on an HDTV, which sounds like a dream come true to me. Although it is a genuinely real technology, unfortunately, the answer I came up with for you, Lynn is “no”. Here’s why.

It’s not the TV that’s stopping you. Push2TV is compatible with pretty much any TV that has a High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI input. HDMI has supplanted almost all other input types since on home theater gear since high-def TV became popular, and is making rapid inroads in the world of computers, so it’s all over these days. But the compatibility is with your laptop. Push2TV takes advantage of a technology developed by Intel called Wireless Display, or WiDi. There is a complete list of laptops with WiDi on NetGear’s website. Check out www.netgear.com/ptv and choose “United States” from the dropdown. If you ask me, this is a pretty exciting technology, but it’s been stifled because for some odd reason, Best Buy was given exclusive distribution rights to it for 6 months. Ostensibly, that period is over now, so perhaps we’ll start to see more machines come down the pipe carrying WiDi capability. Before you rush right out and upgrade, there are some significant limitations you should be aware of. First, you won’t be able to play certain kinds of copy-protected content because of issues with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is the same type of issue that stops you from freely sharing music from your iTunes library. Second, because WiDi is an extension of current WiFi wireless networking technology, it is subject to the same frequency sharing problems and distance limitations of WiFi. I’ll be keeping an eye on this technology, and if there are any breaking revelations, I’ll be sure and bring them to you.

Q: The last couple of years I attended your session at the seminar held at the college about this time of year. Last year I received an email telling me the dates. This year I have not heard anything. Since I am a winter resident and don’t belong to the clubs that put it on I don’t have that avenue to find out if there will be a seminar this year. Is there going to be a seminar? If so what is the date and location.

Keith H.

A: You are talking about the Northwest Florida Association of Computer User Groups (NWFACUG) annual Computer Tech event. You are correct that it is usually held in late January. It got bumped this year due to renovation-induced scheduling conflicts at the college. The event is currently scheduled for February 25, 2012, at Northwest Florida State College Niceville campus. The primary venue is in the Learning Resource Center, with classes being held in other buildings a short walk from there. Presentations start at 8:30 AM, and go throughout the morning, then continue after a lunch break. I have been invited back to be a presenter again this year, so I’ll be there. The schedule has not been posted as of this writing, but when it is up, you’ll be able to find it at nwfacug.org.


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