Not to be outdone in the simplicity category, Cables To Go
, a division of Lastar Inc., introduced its Wireless USB to VGA Adapter Kit at CES. Once again, I was impressed by the simplicity of a solution that uses plug-and-play USB technology to send media wirelessly to your TV.
Cables To Go has been a provider of computer, datacomm and audio/video connectivity solutions since its founding in 1984, and a leader in what is called “utra-wideband USB” (UW-USB) since its introduction. Like other wireless USB
kits, Cables To Go’s UW-USB displays video from a computer source to a TV screen up to 30 feet away. But in this case the applications are limited to video, since the audio must still come from the computer source or attached speakers. Even so, there are several commercial and home uses for this product that make a lot of sense.
In the corporate world, many of us have experienced the “VGA cord swap” in a meeting when we need to connect our laptops to a projector to show a PowerPoint presentation or spreadsheet. Problem is, these cords are almost never long enough to cover an entire conference room, requiring a switch of chairs and bodies and precious lost minutes (and mojo) during an important pitch.
At home, the Wireless USB to VGA Adapter Kit is a great way to project photos to your big screen TV, or for the kids to surf the web with their friends or watch YouTube videos from the comfort of the couch (maybe we WANT to see what they are doing online as well… errr maybe not).
I had a chance to chat with Lastar president Bill Diederich at CES and he gave me a brief introduction on the concept and also an up-close demonstration. Take a look:
Cables To Go Intro.
Wireless USB Demo.
The street price for the kit will be around $200 and includes all you need to wirelessly display video content from your computer to a remote monitor, projector, or TV. It supports up to 720P video quality (720p only available at resolution of 1024x768 or lower), can work in dual screen mode, and can support up to six wireless displays from one computer (but you need receivers at each TV).
I am bullish on this wireless USB approach for everyday consumers. Despite the limit on range and the orphaned audio, the idea of reducing the amount of wiring of the “digital octopus” surrounding our TVs is a good thing and allows more options for the placement of the flat-panel TV on the wall and the computer within a room. Everyone knows how to plug in USB devices and cables and plug the VGA receiver into their HDTVs, so ease of installation should help drive adoption.