Couch viewable computers

After writing yesterday about lack of households who have their computers connected to their TV, I was prompted to take a look around the technology that may be coming to your lounge soon, allowing your media to be viewed or listened to from different sources.

Intel solution is their Digital Media Adapter (DMA). Containing an Xscale processor and its own interface program displaying on the TV that allows the user to browse images, audio files and video stored on their PC or Media Server via a simple handheld remote control. This is then fed through to the TV or HiFi unit. The DMA and PC can be connected either by cables or wirelessly.

Sony’s RoomLink is currently for sale in Japan and will be having a US spring release at a targeted $199 that appears to work on the same principle. Interestingly RoomLink will only pull media from Sony Vaio computers.

I noticed an illustration of the power of the US media companies in the piece – the US release will not be able to stream DVD video between devices, as the Japanese version does.

What’s not clear is whether Sony is using the Intel’s DMA. If you can drag yourself through the overview video, the style of which is what you might call dry, you’ll see the Sony “Vaio Media” server. Of course it might just be coincidence.

This looks very much like a first step, bridging technology that will fill that gap until TV and audio equipment are produced network enabled. Given the wrangling over digitally held video content, that might be quite a gap.