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Android on Plair 2 HDMI wireless streaming dongle

Plair beat Google to the punch with its wireless streaming HDMI dongle that was announced at last year’s CES, but had the wind sucked from it sails with the arrival of Chromecast. So, the company went back to the lab and today, it’s ready to reveal Plair 2, a dongle that looks the same as the original, but comes running a customized version of Android. That means instead of simply being a conduit for streaming video from the cloud, it runs most any app found on Google Play on your TV. It works via an Android companion app (for devices running version 4.3 or iOS 5 and up) that lets you connect the dongle to your home WiFi network and acts as a remote control for the device after setup’s complete. Oh, and with the added functionality comes a sizable drop in price — while the original Plair cost $99, this new version costs just $49.

Setting up Plair 2 is a simple affair. Just like the Chromecast, you simply stick the dongle into an HDMI port on your TV, plug in the microUSB power cord, then load up the companion app. The app prompts you to log the dongle into your home network, then switches to remote mode once your done — it takes no more than a minute or two. After that, your TV will load up Plair’s home screen, which displays a row of apps onscreen in a cover flow fashion. Navigation via the companion app’s accomplished via swipes and taps or a virtualized touchpad and cursor. Once you’ve chosen your content portal, the tablet version of that app is displayed onscreen, and you make your selections with the cursor.

While the remote app is a good idea in theory, we found using it to be a bit difficult. Swipes failed to register regularly, and scrolling up and down was often a dicey affair — scrolling down usually worked, but we often had to lift our finger off the screen and try multiple times to get it to scroll up. Additionally, while video quality is largely comparable to what you’ll see via Chromecast, buffering takes a bit longer, and we had playback issues during our brief testing with Plair 2. Hulu Plus and Netflix froze on us several times when trying to load content, and playback on Comcast’s Xfinity app froze a couple times as well. We also played a bit of Angry Birds on the device, and found the experience enjoyable. Control via the companion app worked well, and we experienced none of the issues we had when streaming video.

In short, while the Plair 2 costs $14 more than Chromecast, it also offers a lot more functionality. The ability to run any Android app or game is really handy, and well worth the additional cash outlay. In general, the fact of the matter is that Chromecast is less expensive, currently streams video better than Plair does and its native app control paradigm is superior to Plair’s proprietary remote. However, the ability to play games and run Android apps on the TV is valuable, and the company tells us that it’s working on improving the user experience. That’s good, because improvement’s needed if it hopes to carve out some market space alongside Google’s offering.

 

 

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Mirroring your computer onto any HDMI display with Airtame wireless dongle

Here’s yet another option for wirelessly mirroring your computer screen to another display, but don’t worry: This one is rather impressive. Airtame, the creation of a group of Danish folks, is an HDMI dongle that links your PC — be it running Windows, OS X or Linux — to whatever display it’s plugged into over WiFi. Installation is a breeze: All you need on the PC side is just the software, and from there you can choose which dongles to beam your screen to. Yes, dongles, because you really can beam one PC to multiple screens, thus beating Miracast. We also played a game on one of the laptops, and the response time on the remote display was surprisingly good.

 

 

 

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Panasonic 65-inch Smart VIERA UHD TV with HDMI 2.0

 

 

Panasonic Unveils Smart VIERA WT600 – World’s First1 Ultra HD TV with 4K2 60p Input Designed Based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort™1.2a Specifications

WT600 is the first 4K Ultra HD TV in the world with a 4K 60p input designed based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 31.2a specifications offering outstanding picture quality and a wide range of other Smart VIERA innovations

Newark, NJ (September 4, 2013) – Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology, unveiled today the Smart VIERA TC-L65WT600, the world’s first Ultra HD TV with a 4K 60p input designed based on HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort™1.2a specifications. Offering up to 60 frames per second 4K playback, the WT600 is the ultimate choice for consumers looking to access the next level in home entertainment, or for anyone for who picture quality is imperative.

The 65-inch class (64.5 inches measured diagonally) Panasonic Smart VIERA WT600 Ultra HD TV will be available in mid-October on shop.panasonic.com (http://shop.panasonic.com/pr/tc-l65wt600) and at select retailers.

With its THX™4 4K certification, the Smart VIERA WT600 is perfectly tailored for home cinema enthusiasts. The WT600 panel’s 2,400 Back Light Scanning (BLS) technology provides incredibly high motion sharpness, even in fast action scenes. The TV also features a minimalist design, with a thin metal frame that focuses attention on the stunning 4K images. Even when not in use, the WT600 presents an elegant and stylish addition to the living room.

4K Content at Your Fingertips

The WT600 offers access to a wide range of 4K content to make the most of its screen innovations allowing users to dramatically expand their 4K experience with not only video content, but also groundbreaking games, Internet content, and their photos, all in stunning 4K quality5.

The next generation 4K 60p input, designed based on HDMI 2.0 and Display PortTM1.2a specifications, helps assure compatibility with future 4K-players, set-top boxes and next-generation gaming consoles.

PC gaming enthusiasts can easily connect their PC to the WT600 via the 60p-capable DisplayPortTM, allowing them to enjoy the latest blockbuster games in incredible detail and with high motion clarity. The WT600′s built-in HTML5 web browser can also show Internet pages in crisp 4K quality5.

As an industry leading-edge technology, the WT600 has a built-in 4K H.264 (MPEG4) decoder, which not only enables the playback of 4K video files via USB and SD Memory Card, but – even more importantly – enables the playback of 4K content directly from the Internet5. Photo enthusiasts can access their photography either via an SD card with the 4K Photo Viewer SD6, or use 4K Swipe & Share6 to wirelessly transfer photos from their mobile phone or tablet in Ultra HD resolution.

Superior 4K Image Quality

To ensure the best 4K home cinema viewing experience, the WT600′s THX4K™-certified 4K display demonstrates its ability to reproduce the colors, tones and resolution intended by the Hollywood directors. With 4K Intelligent Frame Creation, the WT600 achieves smooth panning of up to 120 frames per second, even with Ultra HD sources. Panasonic’s 4K Ultra HD TV also analyzes complex scenes – with movement from a variety of directions – and optimizes each object independently.

The Local Dimming Pro enhances overall image by improving control of details in both darker and brighter areas. Meanwhile, the new 4K Fine Remaster Engine maximizes the image quality for content created with resolution lower than 4K. The circuit processing technology produces images with higher definition by interpolating the missing parts of the images and re-producing the non-existent data, bringing them to a level of quality that approaches 4K sources.

The WT600 features ISFccc Calibration Mode10 and is compatible with CalMAN™ calibration software, ensuring precise color neutrality. The Panasonic TV Remote 2 App also offers Smart Calibration, a powerful function which enables the viewer to set detailed correction curves for gamma, white point, and color saturation on the TV via their Android or iOS7 Smartphone or tablet.

Easy Operation

Thanks to the intuitive user interface, the WT600 is designed to ensure your Smart TV experience is as easy as possible. The personalized My Home Screen feature enables every family member to easily access their TV favorites through their own personalized home screen.

Following the success of the Smart VIERA My Home Screen feature, Panasonic has also developed new pre-set Home Screens. The Smart VIERA Home Screen Collection function offers users quick and easy access8 to content from their favorite providers including YouTube.

The WT600′s control and input options are further boosted with the innovative Voice Interaction feature, allowing users to control their TV by speaking into the microphone of the touch pad controller, or into a smartphone or tablet with the installed Panasonic TV Remote 2 App. This allows users to quickly access their internet content or browse their home network for their favorite music, video and photo. In addition, the photo-sharing capabilities of Swipe & Share mean that users can share images in 4K-resolution on the WT600′s large screen with just a swipe of their finger6.

Advanced Networking and Connectivity

As with all Smart VIERA TVs, the WT600 features built-in Wi-Fi as a standard. Users can quickly and easily access multimedia content on their home network via DLNA streaming, as well as the Apps for the Smart VIERA platform with its continuously expanding range of Smart TV applications including popular social networking TV apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype™. With the WT600′s automatic pop-up camera, video calls can be made with just the click of a few buttons.

The WT600 includes a 4K web browser. For easy text and web address input, users can connect a keyboard to the WT600, using a USB adapter or wirelessly via Bluetooth™9. The Bluetooth® module provides users with additional wireless connectivity options, allowing them to connect compact speakers or headphones.

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Pocket Projector with HDMI from Brookstone

 

Compact, portable and rechargeable, the HDMI Pocket Projector takes you from business presentations to game time with friends to family movie night.

It connects via HDMI to most smartphones, tablets, computers, video players, game consoles, digital cameras and more.

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