Cablevision Connects PC to TV Using Software

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
CTO
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Cablevision Connects PC to TV Using Software

cablevision-logo.jpgWho'd a thunk that your cable box could magically transmit your PC's video and audio directly to your TV with no wires? Cablevision just released a new piece of software that you simply load onto your PC and then your screen pixels and audio are transmitted across the coax to Cablevision's centralized network where it is then converted into your very own individualized channel that you can simply view by changing your cable box's channel. Since your cable box is already connected to your TV, there's no need to run any special video or audio cables from your PC. Think of this as Remote Desktop (RDP protocol) (or VNC) on steroids.

The new service is called "PC to TV Media Relay" and it's an interesting solution for less technical users to bridge their PCs and their advanced home entertainment systems. Obviously, more tech savvy users already know how to connect their PCs to their TVs using component, S-Video, composite, DVI, or HDMI cables.

I'm not sure how the refresh rate performance will be. Doubt you can play PC video games this way due to not just refresh rate/screen redraw, but lag time as well. I'm not sure how they're even able to do video playback with good quality using just screen sharing (pixels) technology. Microsoft's RDP protocol sucks as remote video playback. Though interestingly my Linksys Media Extender and the Xbox 360 (also an extender) also uses RDP and video playback is fine. If that's the case, not sure why Microsoft crippled RDP when using the native Remote Desktop client. Ticks me off that a simple animated Flash banner ad in a browser window brings my remote desktop session to a crawl.

I do have some privacy concerns with this though. Essentially, your entire screen is being transmitted to Cablevision for them to do the conversion to a specialized channel. I'm guessing they are not capturing keystrokes, but rather are using screen delta technology that is also used in remote desktop software. Basically, screen delta technology saves on bandwidth by only transmitting the part of the screen that changes. So I don't think they can do keystroke logging, however a Cablevision employee could in theory watch the screen pixels live. Wonder how long before CALEA gets their hands on this?

In any event, the Cablevision user can view and interact with their PC to perform web surfing, watch Web video from Hulu, YouTube, etc., play a slideshow of family photos, or simply do some online banking. Of course, Hulu, founded by NBC, Fox, Disney, and some other media titans is not going to be pleased with this. Hulu blocked Boxee for offering a set top box that gave a seamless living room experience to the Hulu website. So could a battle between Cablevision and Hulu be in store? Napster opened Pandora's Box and changed digital music forever forcing the music industry to embrace digital music. The same will happen in the TV/video space. Evolve and give users freedom of choice (how/when/where they play video) or users will find workarounds for how they play content and they'll get their video content for free.


Related Articles to 'Cablevision Connects PC to TV Using Software'
google-logo.jpg
adobe-logo.jpg
remote-desktop-general-tab.jpg
stardemo4s.jpg

Featured Events