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How to Connect Your Ultrabook™ to a TV with Intel® WiDi Technology

If you love TV and movies, you already know that there’s a ton of great content available on the Internet, more than you could watch in a lifetime.

Problem is, much of it is only available on the Internet and you probably don’t want to watch everything on your computer screen; you want to watch it on your HDTV.

For example, on the Ultrabook™ videos page, there are lots of really interesting videos, including a cool video about Ultrabook 2 in 1. What’s great is that the very same solution will also work with your favorite TV shows or streaming video sites like Netflix*, Amazon Video*, or Hulu*.

Intel® Widi logo

Enter Intel® WiDi Technology

That’s why the Intel® WiDi—“wireless display”—technology is so cool. Coupled with a WiDi compatible TV or a simple WiDi receiver unit, it lets you wirelessly push any content that’s on your Ultrabook™ screen onto your TV.

WiDi is not just for movies or TV shows. Anything that you have on the screen, including photo galleries and even a spreadsheet or Web browser, can display on your TV. Perfect for showing Mom how to do something online or sharing photos from your vacation with your friends, it’s a super modern slide show, and way more fun—not to mention its wide applicability in the workplace.

Want something even more modern? Check out the Intel® WiDi Media Share app that lets you share your photos and videos with just a flick of your fingers.

But for now, let’s just stick with the WiDi system itself.

Hardware for Your TV

Since most TVs don’t have WiDi built in, you’ll need a WiDi-capable receiver. One option is the ActionTec ScreenBeam Pro*, a simple little device that plugs directly into the TV’s HDMI* port. Yes, you’ll need an HDMI cable after all, but that’s included with the device. Then you’re ready to go. The ScreenBeam Pro even creates its own Wi-Fi network so you don’t even need a wireless network to get started!

Detected wireless displays connect screen

Let’s go back to the computer for a minute...

Before you can start watching the screen on your TV, however, you’ll need to set up the WiDi connection, then connect your Ultrabook to the WiDi receiver.

Pairing the Device with your Computer

Start by launching the WiDi software itself. This is most easily done by simply typing “w i d i” into Windows* 8 while looking at the Start screen. When you launch it, you’ll see the Detected Wireless Displays window (image above).

If you don’t see your WiDi device, make sure it’s on and that your computer sees the device’s Wi-Fi network and rescan. Alternatively, go to the Windows 8 charms bar and choose “Devices” then “Project”, then the device, and have the WiDi utility rescan by clicking “rescan” on the main window.

Once the device is visible, click “Connect” and Intel WiDi software will do all the hard work of negotiating protocols and getting the connection working.

Connected wireless display window

The device will display a security code on the screen that you’ll need to enter into the WiDi software on your Windows computer in a process that you’ll only ever have to do once. Finish that step and after a few seconds it’ll be connected.

Once you’ve gotten to this point, go back to the “Projects” area of the “Devices” area of the charms bar or use the handy Windows-P shortcut to bring up the screen sharing options:

  • Duplicate or “mirror” what’s on your computer screen on the TV
  • Extend your screen so that the TV serves as an extension (in which case you can then drag windows from one screen to the other and move your cursor onto the TV screen as if it’s a second monitor)
  • Set the TV be the only active screen, with charms bar, menus and everything else that you’re used to seeing in Windows 8.

That’s it. Once WiDi is started and properly configured, you can choose “extend” to move the video playback window onto the second screen while continuing to use your computer, the so-called “second screen” of modern viewing, or you can simply choose “duplicate” to have both screens showing exactly the same content then place your Ultrabook on the table and enjoy your show, video, or movie.

However you do it, WiDi is amazing and totally changes how you think about video content on the Internet. No clutter. Just high-def being streamed to what’s probably the nicest screen in your home.

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